The DOJ is suing Adobe

The US government is suing Adobe for allegedly hiding expensive fees and making it difficult to cancel a subscription. In the complaint filed on Monday, the Department of Justice claims Adobe “has harmed consumers by enrolling them in its default, most lucrative subscription plan without clearly disclosing important plan terms.”

The lawsuit alleges Adobe “hides” the terms of its annual, paid monthly plan in the “fine print and behind optional textboxes and hyperlinks.” In doing so, the company fails to properly disclose the early termination fee incurred upon cancellation “that can amount to hundreds of dollars,” the complaint says.

When customers do attempt to cancel, the DOJ alleges that Adobe requires them to go through an “onerous and complicated” cancellation process that involves navigating through multiple webpages and pop-ups. It then allegedly “ambushes” customers with an early termination fee, which may discourage them from canceling.

Customers encounter similar obstacles when attempting to cancel their subscriptions over the phone or via live chats, the DOJ alleges. The complaint claims “subscribers have had their calls or chats either dropped or disconnected and have had to re-explain their reason for calling when they re-connect.” The lawsuit alleges that these practices break federal laws designed to protect consumers.

The lawsuit also targets Adobe executives Maninder Sawhney, the senior vice president of digital go-to-market and sales, as well as David Wadhwani, the president of the company’s digital media business. The complaint says both executives “directed, controlled, had the authority to control, or participated in the acts and practices of Adobe.” Adobe didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

“Adobe trapped customers into year-long subscriptions through hidden early termination fees and numerous cancellation hurdles,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Americans are tired of companies hiding the ball during subscription signup and then putting up roadblocks when they try to cancel.” The federal government began looking into Adobe’s cancellation practices late last year.

In 2012, Adobe went from selling its creative software for lifetime use to charging users for a monthly or yearly subscription to its suite of products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and others. The company’s subscription model has long frustrated creatives, who are often forced to stay subscribed to Adobe in order to keep doing their jobs. Earlier this month, Adobe’s new terms of service were met with backlash after some interpreted the move as an opportunity to train its AI on users’ art.

The lawsuit speaks to continued regulatory scrutiny of Adobe. In 2022, Adobe attempted to acquire the product design platform Figma for $20 billion, but it abandoned the deal last year after facing antitrust scrutiny from European regulators.


Guess they’ve recently added this to the buying structure…

Yeh I’ve been the wrong side of early termination fees for other products and services in the past.

It’s not unusual and I’m not sure why people think Adobe is any different.
Have it with my Mobile Phone, Sky TV provider, when I was renting, Electricity and Gas suppliers…

Interesting case… I’m sure they’ll win it and force Adobe into a more upfront - as it seems to have done already.

Like supersize me, McDonalds now offers salads.
And they did have to add a warning on Bleach bottles ‘Do Not Drink’

There was a case in Ireland where a woman won 500k for hanging on the outside of a Light Rail Tram service (LUAS), fell and hit her head, and won the case because 'She alleged failure to have any or any adequate visual systems employed and activated on the tram. She alleged that meant the driver was unable in the circumstances to see the non-platform side of the tram before leaving the station.

It was claimed that the tram pulled off from the station without first observing the non-platform side.’

I guess you have to these days.

Anyway… interesting.

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The other day I looked into getting a 2nd subscription and noticed the “Photoshop” package was very expensive (and included a load of extra apps), and they’d made it harder to find their cheapest package, “Photoshop + Lightroom”. They’re definitely trying to lead people who don’t know about it away from that option.

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Any subscription plan is suspect.
the DOJ should look into:
Sirius XM
Any online newspaper subscription
Any phone service
Any cable service
Any car dealership

All of these I’ve recently had trouble with.

Adobe has long been a known quantity.
It’s taken a loooong time to get them to leave me alone. The sales rep that kept calling/texting me is still listed as Adobe A–hole on my cellphone.


I kept getting ghost calls from a tv provider where I’d dropped subscription and cancelled. Phone would ring once and then hang up, it was happening about 10 times a day

I had to go to the police who asked me to write down the numbers and time of calls.

I did that, gave them a list of about 200 calls from various numbers and times.

Got a call back from them Police about 10 minutes later

The calls you were receiving were from
Setanta Sports

You will no longer get calls from them

What a pain that was.

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Why didn’t you block the number?

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Yeah there’s also a scam doing the rounds where someone rings once and hangs up, tempting people to call back - they connect a foreign number and get hit with massive charges for the call.

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This was pre-blocking number era.
And I think it was different numbers each time.
The company went defunct in 2009.


I don’t call back people I know, never mind a hang-up.

And as far as Adobe is concerned, couldn’t happen to a nicer company /s


I’ve given up my landline and set up my iPhone to prevent calls from ringing from anyone not on my contact list. If someone not on my contact list needs to reach me, they can leave a voice mail, text message, or send an email.

Yeah, it’s an inconvenience, but it eliminates the bigger nuisance of junk calls and scammers.


Is that something you set up in settings? I’m intrigued! I just always have my phone on silent.


On my android phone I use “Calls Blacklist Pro”…
Has the option to block all calls not in your contacts list.
Works like a charm and have used it for years…

Yes. On your iPhone, click the settings app and scroll down to the phone icon. Click the phone icon and scroll down to where it says, “Silence unknown callers,” and then set it to “On.”.


Samsung have a setting now for blocking spam numbers and theres two levels a light setting and block all.

Also have a smart caller id setup, so it finds the caller and displays their name.

I don’t have my local pharmacy stored as a contact but when I get a call it comes up that it’s them.

So I don’t need to store phone numbers to know where they are calling from.

It’s super handy.

There’s also aninstant block spam and report button when a rogue spam call gets through.


Done, Thanks B!


My previous phone was a Samsung and I always found it handy when the screen lit up with “Suspected Fraud”


I couldn’t agree more!

The garbage I’ve had to deal with over decades not to mention money spent, ADOBE absolutely needs to face the music.

Hard to understand this one @Charlene @DesigniaToo - strange.

I rarely have any issues with the Adobe software. It all works for me, for nearly 25 years now.
I do some side work on the Adobe forums, and I do see a lot of people who have issues with Adobe software.

But it’s usually system related (not high enough specs) - or a 3rd party interference of software, like WebRoot, or another anti-virus or something else.

Macs are not user friendly - the amount of times it was down to access in the system, not enough read/write permission for the drives.

Like any software it’s not perfect - but I get a bit more from you two that comes across as nearly ‘hate’.

You say a decade - what’s been going on for you both?
10 years is a long time.

Like Smurf, I don’t often have issues with Adobe, though sometimes an upgrade or intrusion of “ads” will irritate the heck out of me (and that can be either Adobe or Apple.)

I’ve not had any real issues with Apple either, not even when changing over to the M chips. Just don’t let it auto-update. Do the updates AFTER Adobe has had a few months to digest it. And only do the Adobe updates after the .1 upgrade comes out, LOL.
And read the “Known Issues” before doing it.

Yeh I tend to give it about 6 months before upgrading.
I’m still on 2022 - as there’s nothing ground breaking in the updates and it’s stable with Sonoma 14.4 (if that’s right).