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US Government Sues Adobe: Hidden Fees and Cancellation Headaches

US Govt Sues Adobe

Table of Contents:

  • Cracking Down on Deceptive Practices

  • The Allegations Against Adobe

  • Hidden Early Termination Fees

  • Difficult Cancellation Processes

  • Legal Action and Potential Repercussions

  • Adobe's Response

  • Impact on Consumers and the Industry

  • FAQs on the Lawsuit

  • Conclusion

Cracking Down on Deceptive Practices

In a move aimed at protecting consumers, the US government has filed a lawsuit against software giant Adobe. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges that Adobe engaged in deceptive practices regarding subscription fees and cancellation processes for its popular software products. This lawsuit highlights a growing concern over hidden fees and complex cancellation procedures within the subscription service industry.

The Allegations Against Adobe

The FTC's complaint focuses on two key areas:

Hidden Early Termination Fees: 

The lawsuit alleges that Adobe misled consumers by obscuring substantial early termination fees associated with its "annual paid monthly" subscription plan. 

These fees, which can reach hundreds of dollars, are often buried within fine print or hidden behind hyperlinks during the signup process. 

Consumers are left unaware of this significant cost until they attempt to cancel their subscriptions before the end of the year-long commitment.

Difficult Cancellation Processes: 

The FTC further claims that Adobe makes canceling subscriptions a deliberately cumbersome process. 

This could involve navigating confusing menus on the company's website, enduring lengthy phone calls with customer service representatives, or encountering hidden cancellation options. 

The FTC argues that these tactics are designed to discourage users from canceling and lock them into unwanted subscriptions.

Legal Action and Potential Repercussions

Following the FTC's referral, the Department of Justice filed a federal court complaint against Adobe in San Jose, California. Two high-ranking Adobe executives, David Wadhwani and Maninder Sawhney, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks to achieve several objectives:

Hold Adobe Accountable:  

The government aims to force Adobe to change its business practices regarding hidden fees and cancellation difficulties.

Consumer Relief: 

The lawsuit may also seek compensation for consumers who were unknowingly charged early termination fees or faced undue hardship while canceling their subscriptions.

Industry Standards: 

This case could set a legal precedent for how companies handle subscription fees and cancellation procedures, potentially leading to more transparent and consumer-friendly practices within the tech industry.

Adobe's Response

In response to the lawsuit, Adobe's general counsel and chief trust officer, Dana Rao, issued a statement expressing the company's intention to challenge the FTC's claims in court.

Impact on consumers

Impact on Consumers and the Industry

The outcome of this lawsuit will be closely watched by consumers and the tech industry alike. Here's what this case could mean:

  • Consumer Protection: A ruling in favor of the government could establish stronger protections for consumers against hidden fees and complex cancellation processes within the subscription service industry.

  • Increased Transparency: Companies might be forced to be more upfront about their subscription fees and cancellation procedures, making it easier for consumers to understand the true cost of signing up for a service.


The lawsuit against Adobe underscores a significant issue in the tech industry: the prevalence of hidden fees and complicated cancellation processes in subscription services. As the FTC and the Department of Justice pursue legal action, the outcome could have far-reaching implications for consumer rights and industry practices.

If the court rules in favor of the government, it could lead to enhanced consumer protections and increased transparency from companies regarding their subscription terms. Such a precedent would not only benefit Adobe's customers but also set a new standard for the entire industry, promoting fairer and more transparent business practices.

For now, consumers should stay informed and vigilant, carefully reviewing subscription details and being aware of potential hidden fees. As the case progresses, it will be crucial to monitor updates and understand the broader impact this lawsuit may have on the subscription service landscape.

Speed Net


1. What specific software products are affected by this lawsuit?

While the details haven't been officially confirmed, the lawsuit likely focuses on Adobe's Creative Cloud suite, which includes popular software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat.

2. How much are these early termination fees?

The FTC alleges that the early termination fees can be as high as 50% of the remaining payments left in the annual subscription. For a typical Creative Cloud subscription costing around $50 per month, this could translate to a fee of hundreds of dollars if a user cancels within the first year.

3. What if I'm already subscribed to an Adobe service?

Carefully review your subscription details and cancellation options directly on Adobe's website. You can also contact Adobe customer service to inquire about any potential early termination fees associated with your specific plan.

4. How can I avoid hidden fees when subscribing to online services?

Always thoroughly read the terms of service and subscription details before signing up for any online service. Look for specific information regarding cancellation procedures and any potential early termination fees.

5. What recourse do I have if I believe I've been charged hidden fees?

If you believe you were charged hidden fees or faced undue difficulty cancelling an Adobe subscription, you can file a complaint with the FTC at

6. Where can I stay updated on the lawsuit's progress?

Keep an eye on news outlets and official government websites like the FTC for updates on the lawsuit's progress. You can also follow consumer rights organizations for further information and guidance.


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