The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. Unless otherwise noted, the FTC staff contact is Dan Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Commission action regarding petitions to reopen and modify or set aside orders: Following public comment periods, the Commission has responded to petitions from the following entities.
- The FTC has granted in part the petition of Charter Medical Corporation, of Macon, Georgia, to modify a 1995 consent order. The FTC has replaced a general prior-approval requirement in the order with a narrower one that requires Charter to obtain FTC approval before acquiring any interest in the psychiatric facilities currently owned by National Medical Enterprises (NME) in Memphis, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; Smyrna and Stockbridge, Georgia; and Orlando, Florida. (These are the facilities Charter was prevented from acquiring under the original order.) Charter also must notify the FTC before acquiring any other psychiatric facilities in these markets, or before divesting one to an entity that does or will operate another such facility, under the modified order. The order settled antitrust charges regarding Charter’s acquisition of NME (Docket No. C-3558; Commission vote 5-0).
- The FTC has denied a petition from The Coca-Cola Company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, which had sought termination of a provision in a 1995 consent order requiring the company to obtain FTC approval before acquiring any interest in the Dr Pepper brand of soft drinks in the United States. The Commission said there remains a credible risk that Coca-Cola may again, as it did in a 1986 effort that led to the consent order, attempt to acquire an interest in Dr Pepper. Thus, the denial is consistent with the FTC’s policy regarding prior-approval provisions in merger orders (Docket No. D09207; Commission vote 3-0, Commissioners Mary L. Azcuenaga and Roscoe B. Starek, III, recused).
Commission action regarding applications: Following a public comment period, the Commission has responded to an applications from the following entity:
- The FTC has approved New York City-based Alleghany Corporation’s plan to acquire, through its indirect subsidiary Security Union Title Insurance Company, certain real estate information pertaining to Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties, from TRW REDI Property Data, of Anaheim, California. The deal involves an exchange of electronic images of publicly-recorded real estate documents and other information between TRW REDI and Security Union. Prior approval was required under two consent orders Alleghany signed to settle FTC charges that its acquisitions of title-insurance related assets would substantially lessen competition in the provision of title and back plant information. (Docket Nos. C-3218, C-3335; Commission vote 5-0).
Consent orders given final approval: Following a public comment period on a consent order, the Commission determines whether to issue it in final form, thus making the consent order provisions binding on the company.
- CORRECTION: The Commission vote to issue the consent order with BBDO Worldwide, Inc., listed in greater detail on a Jan. 30, 1996 news advisory, was 5-0 (Docket No. C-3637).
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, same address as above; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov