Announced Actions for October 12, 1999

For Your Information
  • New Bureau of Competition Director:
 

Effective today, Richard G. Parker has been named Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. His appointment by Chairman Robert Pitofsky was unanimously approved by the Commission. Mr. Parker most recently served as Senior Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition, a position he held since 1998.

  • Amended agreements:

The Commission has voted to advise Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation of its willingness to accept a modification, in a manner consistent with the Commission's Prior Approval Policy Statement, of its existing third-party contractual obligation to obtain prior approval for the resale of an asset divested pursuant to the order in Healthtrust, Inc. -- The Hospital Company, Docket No. C-3538.   The Commission vote to accept the modification was 4-0. (Docket No. C-3538; see press release dated February 14, 1995; staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, 202-326-2623)

  • Comments filed with Natural Resources Canada regarding its proposal to amend the Canadian Appliance Rule:

The FTC filed a comment with Natural Resources Canada on October 4, 1999 regarding its proposal to amend the Canadian Appliance Labeling Rule. The comment specifically applied to proposals from the EnerGuide Program to amend its labeling scales for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers and to modify the EnerGuide label for major household appliances by adding information on estimated operating cost.  

According to the Commission comment, the proposal to amend the labeling scales for refrigeration products would significantly increase the minimal differences that currently exist between the United States and Canadian appliance energy labels for these products. Although such differences are not in themselves necessarily problematic, according to the comment, the proposed changes could lead to consumer confusion and higher manufacturer compliance costs.  

The FTC comment supported the inclusion of an annual operating cost guide on labels for major household appliances, which currently show an annual energy consumption rating in kilowatt-hours per year. It stated that the FTC's Appliance Labeling Rule requires that EnergyGuides show both annual energy consumption and annual operating cost, and suggested that the primary disclosure on such labels should be energy consumption, with estimated annual operating cost a valuable secondary disclosure that could assist consumers in making purchasing decisions.   The vote to approve the Commission comment was 4-0. (FTC File No. V990014; staff contact is James Mills, 202-326-3035.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this FYI are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 877-FTC Help (877-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 202-326-2502. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

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