Announced Actions for March 29, 1996

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions.

Applications for prior approval of transactions: The FTC has received an application for prior approval of a divestiture from the following. The application will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until April 29.

First Data Corporation, of Hackensack, New Jersey, has requested approval to divest its MoneyGram money wire transfer business by transferring the assets of the business to a newly-formed corporation, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. First Data intends to sell the shares of common stock it gets in the deal through a registered initial public offering. The divestiture is required under a 1995 consent order settling charges over First Data’s acquisition of First Financial, which owned MoneyGram’s principal competitor, Western Union. The FTC alleged that the merger would give First Data a monopoly in the consumer money wire transfer business; the divestiture is designed to restore competition (see Sept. 21, 1995 news release for more detail regarding the 1995 consent order; Docket No. C-3635). Staff contact is Dan Ducore, 202-326-2526.

Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final consent agreements with the following entities. The Commission action makes the orders binding on the respondents.

SafeBrands Corporation, its parent company, Warren Distribution, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska, and ARCO Chemical Company, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, settling charges that they made unsubstantiated advertising claims about the safety of Sierra antifreeze, and about the product’s environmental benefits and its ability to protect vehicle engines. The consent order requires the respondents to have scientific substantiation to support future claims about the safety of any antifreeze, and to include a statement on Sierra’s label cautioning consumers that it may be harmful if swallowed. The order also requires the respondents to have substantiation for certain claims about the environmental benefits and the level of engine protection offered by any antifreeze, coolant or deicer. Finally, the order prohibits the respondents from misrepresenting the recyclability of such products or their packages (see Nov. 28, 1995 news release for more details regarding this case; Commission vote 4-0, with Commissioner Roscoe B. Starek, III recused, on March 26, 1996; FTC Docket No. C-3647). Staff contact is Joel Winston, 202-326-3153.

Service Corporation International (SCI), of Houston, Texas, settling allegations that its acquisition of Gibraltar Mausoleum Corporation would substantially reduce competition for funerals and cemetary services in areas of Texas and Florida. The consent order permitted SCI to go ahead with the merger, but requires it to divest within 12 months a total of seven properties, including assets in Amarillo, Texas, and Brevard and Lee Counties, Florida, to restore competition (see Oct. 11, 1995 news release for more detail regarding this case; Commission vote 5-0 on March 21, 1996; Docket No. C-3646). Staff contact is Harold Kirtz, FTC Atlanta Regional Office, 404/347-4837.

Comments on the First Brands application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the same address; 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

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