WASHINGTON — How much free-speech protection companies have when fending off sweatshop allegations or other criticism will be decided by the Supreme Court in a case involving Nike, which the High Court accepted Friday.

At issue is the muddy legal area of commercial speech and whether false or misleading information from a company has First Amendment protections. The case stems from Nike being sued by a California environmental activist over the company’s media campaign against accusations of poor treatment and sweatshop wages at contractors in Asia producing sneakers and sportswear.

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