ETU-Cash's Parent Drops Plan to Sue Over Web-host Shutdown

BARCELONA — New Concept Business, which lost about $5,000 a day after the Federal Trade Commission shut down access for web-hosting firm Pricewert last month, has dropped its plan to become a third-party litigant against the government, XBIZ has learned.

All told, Barcelona-based New Concept Business — operators of and affiliate programs — lost about $250,000 after a judge signed a temporary injunction against San Jose, Calif.-based Pricewert, according to the adult operator’s attorney.

Pricewert — doing business as, Triple Fiber Network, APX Telecom and APS Communications — was accused of shielding clients engaged in criminal activities that include child pornography. Regulators also charged Pricewert of operating a botnet with command-and-control servers aimed at disseminating malware and conducting phishing attacks.

As a result one of its customers, New Concept Business, which also operates nearly two dozen adult websites with mostly sexual role-playing fantasy themes, was confronted with inoperable and truncated websites, destruction of webmaster program relationships and loss of funds from chargebacks and refunds.

According to the FTC, the decision to shut off Pricewert’s access wasn’t based on finding that it had violated the law, but that there was suspicion it was involved in illegal activities.

Attorney E. James Perullo, of Boston-based Bay State Legal Services, who represents New Concept Business, said he’s disappointed by the company’s decision to not go after the FTC.

“New Concept Business has decided to drop the case against the FTC since they got all the data that was earlier taken by the FTC,” Perullo told XBIZ. “It appears that NCB makes more money in a month than it is worth to them to get any damage award from the court.”

Perullo said that the FTC had no legal reason to convince a federal judge to permit an injunction against an ISP’s entire operation, adding the “judiciary is not enlightened enough to understand how an ISP works in the year 2009.”

“Though I am happy for NCB to have gotten their data back, I’m also pissed because I no longer have a client to make an argument against the FTC — and the FTC deserves a slap,” he said.