Dell, Micron Settle Charges of Deceptive Ads

Dell Computer Corp. and Micron Electronics Inc. have settled government charges they used deceptive Internet and/or television ads to sell computer leases.

The Federal Trade Commission said the settlement requires Dell and Micron to “provide consumers with clear, readable, and understandable information in their lease advertising.”

The proposed settlements would require the companies to provide consumers with clear, readable, and understandable information in their lease advertising.

For example, the FTC said a Dell Internet ad said a $2,288 machine would lease for $86 a month. But the FTC said that to actually compare the cost of leasing to buying, a consumer would have to “scroll diligently through a number of complicated, densely filled screens.”

A Micron ad promised a monthly lease fee of $98.96 for a $2,499 machine, but omitted information about $250 in fees due at the signing and buried information about terms of the lease, the FTC said.

The FTC, which has in the past brought similar charges against auto makers and dealers on deceptive leasing, is conducting a workshop Friday about how its ad rules and other rules apply to the Internet.

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