The Federal Trade Commission’s recent litigation against online businesses for allegedly deceptive and onerous cancellation policies derives from the agency’s long history of opposing corporate deception that predates the widespread use of the internet, former FTC leaders said this week.

The FTC announced in 2022 that it would target companies engaged in online deception, which the agency calls “dark patterns.” In the past two years, the FTC has taken enforcement action or pursued litigation against Publishers Clearing House, Doxo, Amazon and most recently Adobe