Announced Actions for October 1, 1996

For Your Information

Commission action regarding petitions to reopen and modify FTC orders: Following a comment period, the FTC has ruled on a petition from the following:

  • The FTC has granted in part the petition of Pendleton Woolen Mills, Inc., which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, to reopen and modify a 1979 order, thus permitting Pendleton to engage in lawful, price restrictive, cooperative advertising and to unilaterally terminate a reseller of its products for failing to adhere to Pendleton’s announced resale prices or sale periods. The Commission denied Pendleton’s request for one modification in the order on grounds that the change could be construed to allow agreements on advertised prices that go beyond cooperative advertising programs. (Docket No. C-2985; Commission vote on Sept. 30, 1996, to reopen and modify the order was 5-0, with Commissioner Roscoe B. Starek, III concurring in the result only. In a statement, Starek said he does "not share in the view that respondent ?must demonstrate as a threshold matter some affirmative need to modify the order’ when a petition to reopen is judged under the public interest standard," and said he would prefer such language be deleted from Commission rulings regarding petitions to reopen and modify existing orders.) Staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526.

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

  • Home Shopping Network, Inc., based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and two of its subsidiaries, settling charges that they deceptively advertised four mouth sprays -- three vitamin sprays and a stop-smoking spray -- which were promoted on the Home Shopping Club program "Spotlight on Ruta Lee." The order requires them to have scientific evidence to support any claims (1) that a food, food or dietary supplement, or drug cures, treats or prevents any disease or has any effect on the structure or function of the human body; and (2) about the performance, benefits or efficacy of any smoking-cessation program, product or service. (Docket No. 9272; see July 11, 1996 news release for more details regarding the consent agreement; Commission vote on Sept. 26, 1996, to issue the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is Lisa Kopchik, 202-326-3139.
  • Ahold USA, Inc. , of Atlanta, Georgia, and its parent company, Koninklijke Ahold nv, which is based in The Netherlands, settling charges that Ahold’s acquisition of The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc. would violate federal antitrust laws by substantially reducing supermarket competition in 14 communities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The order requires Ahold to divest a total of 28 supermarkets and 2 supermarket sites within 30 days so as to restore competition in those communities. The original agreement named four buyers for the stores -- Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.; Big Y Foods, Inc.; Bozzuto’s, Inc.; and Star Markets. The order as finalized approves the divestitures to Shaw’s and Big Y; the order contemplates that Ahold must submit an application detailing the divestiture to Bozzuto; and the FTC announced on Sept. 27 that it is seeking public comments until Oct. 28 (this date is corrected from the Sept. 27 advisory) on an application from Ahold for approval to divest seven supermarkets to SUPERVALU, Inc. and Ro-Jack’s Food Stores, Inc. instead of Star Markets. (Docket No. C03687; see July 15, 1996 news release for more details regarding the consent agreement; Commission vote on Sept. 30, 1996, to issue the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is George S. Cary, 202-326-3741.

Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.; 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, related documents and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180