Dell, Micron Agree to Settle Lease Ad Complaints With FTC

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Computer direct marketers Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, TX, and Micron Electronics Inc., Nampa, ID, have reached agreements with the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that they published ads containing misleading lease information on the Internet and other media. The proposed settlements call for both companies to make the lease details easier for consumers to find, read and understand, but did not involve any monetary payments.


The settlements follow similar FTC cases against automobile manufacturers and dealerships aimed at eliminating deceptive leasing and credit advertising.


The FTC alleges that Dell posted an Internet ad that included a monthly payment figure without stating that it was for a lease and not a purchase, and that the company buried important information concerning the lease terms. The FTC also alleges that Dell placed critical information in print that was too small to read in a TV ad.


A Dell spokeswoman said the charges involved "minor, isolated incidents" that occurred a year ago. In addition, she said, the ads did not omit any pertinent information about the lease terms, but rather published it in a format that the FTC found unacceptable.


Micron, meanwhile, was accused of omitting or failing to disclose adequately information about the cost of leasing its computers in ads that appeared in print and on the Internet. A Micron spokeswoman said the company had agreed to comply with the FTC's requests.


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