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Razer hit with $1.1M FTC fine over glowing ‘N95’ mask COVID claims | TechCrunch

Razer hit with $1.1M FTC fine over glowing ‘N95’ mask COVID claims | TechCrunch

Federal Trade Commission Beat the Razer Tuesday with a $1.1 million fine. The order claims the gaming accessory maker misled consumers by claiming its shiny Zephyr mask was N95-grade certified.

“These businesses falsely claimed in the midst of a global pandemic that their face mask was equivalent to an N95-certified respirator,” FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine said in a statement. “The FTC will continue to hold accountable businesses that use false and unsubstantiated claims to target consumers who are making decisions about their own health and safety.”

Razer has predictably pushed back against the commission's claims.

“We disagree with the FTC's allegations and do not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement,” a company representative said in a statement to TechCrunch. “It was never our intention to mislead anyone, and we chose to settle this matter to avoid the distraction and disruption of litigation and continue our focus on making great products for gamers. Razer Our Community Cares deeply about and always strives to deliver technology in new and relevant ways.

The company suggested that the complaint was cherry-picked, adding that it went out of its way to refund customers and end sales of the Zephyr.

“The Razer Zephyr was conceived to offer a different and innovative face covering option to the community,” it notes. The FTC's claims against Razer relate to limited portions of certain statements related to Zephyr. More than two years ago, Razer proactively informed consumers that the Zephyr N95 was not a mask, halted sales, and issued refunds to consumers.

The FTC is also officially banning the sale of masks and “making unsubstantiated health claims about COVID-related health misrepresentations or protective health devices.” It goes a step further, “prohibiting defendants from representing the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of protective goods and services (as described in the proposed order), unless They lack valid and reliable scientific evidence to support the claims made.”

The filing reveals that Razer intentionally misled consumers into believing that the $100 mask would protect against COVID. Certainly the virus was top of mind when the product first dropped in October 2021.

The order is currently awaiting the approval and signature of a District Court judge.

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