US sues Adobe for hiding termination fees and making it difficult to cancel subscriptions

The DOJ sues Adobe for hiding termination fees and complicating the subscription cancellation process, alleging deceptive practices to retain consumers.

: The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Adobe, alleging the company hides early-termination fees and complicates the subscription cancellation process. The complaint states that Adobe's opaque practices deceive consumers and force them to stay subscribed. Adobe has denied the allegations stating they provide transparent terms and an easy cancellation process.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Adobe, accusing the company of deceiving consumers by hiding early-termination fees and making it difficult to cancel subscriptions. According to the complaint, Adobe has harmed consumers by enrolling them in the default annual paid monthly plan without clearly disclosing important terms, especially the high fees for early cancellation.

The government claims Adobe only reveals early-termination fees when subscribers attempt to cancel and turns these fees into a retention tool to trap consumers. During enrollment, Adobe allegedly hides material terms in fine print and behind textboxes and hyperlinks, making disclosures easy to miss and cancellation steps difficult to follow, adding complexity to the process.

Adobe has refuted the DOJ’s allegations, asserting it offers flexible subscription options and transparent terms and a straightforward cancellation process. The government is pursuing injunctive relief, civil penalties, and other remedies, deeming Adobe's practices a violation of federal consumer protection laws. Notably, Adobe shifted to a subscription-based model in 2012, with subscriptions now comprising most of its revenue.