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

federal trade commission kill the razor A fine of $1.1 million was imposed on Tuesday. The order claims the gaming accessory maker misled consumers by claiming that its Attractive Zephyr mask was certified as N95-grade.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, these businesses falsely claimed that their face masks were equivalent to N95 certified respirators,” Samuel Levin, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “The FTC will hold accountable businesses that use false and baseless claims to target consumers who make decisions about their health and safety.”

Razer has understandably denied the Commission’s claims.

“We disagree with the FTC’s allegations and do not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement,” a representative for the company said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We never intended to mislead anyone, and we decided to settle this case to avoid the distraction and disruption of litigation and continue our focus on creating great products for gamers. Razer cares deeply about our community and always wants to deliver technology in new and relevant ways.

The company suggested that the complaint was taken seriously, and also said that it went out of its way to refund customers’ money and end sales of the Zephyr.

It says, “The Razer Zephyr was conceived to offer a different and innovative face covering option to the community.” “The FTC’s claims against Razer relate to a limited portion of certain statements related to Zephyr. More than two years ago, Razer actively informed customers that the Zephyr is not an N95 mask, stopped sales and refunded the money to customers.

The FTC is also officially prohibiting the sale of masks and making “COVID-related health misrepresentations or unfounded health claims about protective equipment.” It goes one step further, “Prohibit[ing] Defendants are prohibited from making representations about the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of protective goods and services (as defined in the Proposed Order), unless they have competent and credible evidence to support the claims made. There is no scientific evidence.

The filing shows that Razer knowingly deceived 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 approval and signature from a District Court judge.