FTC lawyer Laura Sullivan says, "We brought the case to stop ongoing harm and we stopped it" and "obtained strong financial relief."
There was "nothing more we would have been able to get at trial" and the absence of an admission of wrongdoing "doesn't render the relief we obtained as not in the public interest," she says. "Ultimately, Judge Bumb agreed."
Sullivan adds that the web page required "was consistent with what we do and within our discretion to do it, and so we did it."
Larkin, now with Edwards Wildman in New York, did not return a call. Neither did Maly.
The Second Circuit has not yet decided the appeal of Rakoff's ruling in the Citigroup case.
In September, Circa Direct came up in an FTC suit against Google in the Northern District of California for allegedly misleading G-mail users over how it would collect and use their personal information. Google allegedly violated an October 2011 consent order by using cookies in the Safari browser.
Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based advocacy group, cited Circa Direct in objecting to an agreement under which Google would pay $22.5 million but admit no liability.
On Nov. 16, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, approved the deal in U.S. v. Google, 12-cv-4177, saying the idea that a consent decree requires an admission of liability "is contradicted by legal history and precedent" and pointing out that the Circa Direct settlement was ultimately approved without it.