The US has sued Adobe over early termination fees and making subscriptions hard to cancel

The US government has sued Adobe and two top company executives, accusing them of misleading consumers and hiding early termination fees for canceling subscriptions to Adobe products.

The complaint A filing by the Justice Department on Monday accuses Adobe of pushing consumers toward an “annual pay-per-month” subscription plan and not adequately disclosing that canceling the plan within the first year could result in an early cancellation fee. The complaint also alleges that Adobe’s early termination fee disclosures are buried in fine print or require consumers to click on small icons to find them.

“Americans are tired of having to hide the ball when they sign up for a subscription and put up obstacles when they want to cancel,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. statement. “The FTC will continue to work to protect Americans from these illegal business practices.”

Dana Rao, Adobe’s general counsel and chief antitrust officer, said the company will fight the FTC in court. One statement Posted on the company’s website, Rao said, “Subscription services are convenient, flexible and cost-effective to allow users to choose the plan that best suits their needs, timeline and budget. Our priority is to ensure that our customers always have a positive experience. We adhere to the terms and conditions of our subscription agreements. is transparent and has a simple cancellation process.We will refute the FTC’s claims in court.

The FTC said it took action against Adobe after receiving complaints from consumers across the country who said they were unaware of Adobe’s early termination fee. It was noted that Adobe continues this practice despite being aware of consumer confusion. Any consumer who contacted Adobe’s customer service to cancel their subscription faced other obstacles, such as calls and chats being dropped and transferred to multiple representatives, the FTC said in a statement.

The FTC’s action follows a wave of customer outrage over Adobe’s latest terms of service. It was the users worried Adobe’s vague language suggested the company was free to use its work to train generative AI modes. In response to the backlash, Adobe announced Updates terms of service to provide more details on areas such as AI and content ownership.

Update, June 17, 2024, 1:39 PM ET: This story has been updated with a statement from Adobe.

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