Announced Actions for May 2, 2000

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Commission action regarding applications for approval:

  • Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on applications for approval of several transactions from the following: Exxon Mobil Corp. Pursuant to Exxon and Mobil's November 1999 consent agreement with the Commission, the companies were required to divest several packages of assets. The transactions approved by the Commission and announced today, include the divestiture of Exxon Mobil's terminals in Manassas, Virginia and Boston, Massachusetts to Tosco Corporation, the buyer of the marketing assets Exxon Mobil was required to divest on the East Coast.

    The Commission vote to approve the transactions was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary recused. (FTC File No. 991-0077; Docket No. C-3907; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526; see press release dated November 30, 1999.)

 

Consent agreements given final approval:

 

  • Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following: McCormick Spices.


    The Commission vote to accept the consent as final was 3-2, with Commissioners Orson Swindle and Thomas B. Leary dissenting and issuing a separate statement. The majority, which included Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Commissioners Sheila Anthony and Mozelle W. Thompson, also issued a separate statement responding to the dissenting Commissioners. Both statements are summarized in the original press release related to this matter and included as links to that document. (FTC File No. 961-0050; staff contact is Michael E. Antalics, Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2821; see press release dated March 8, 2000.)

 

Commission extension of divestiture time period:

  • The FTC has approved the extension of a divestiture time period in the following matter: Roche Holdings, Ltd. Under the order in Docket No. C-3800, the Commission approved the acquisition by Microgenics Corporation of several assets from Roche.

    The divestiture of these assets was consummated on September 25, 1998, and was intended to maintain competition in the sale of reagents used to test for drug abuse by employees. The assets to be divested included both intellectual property and manufacturing assets related to this technology. The order required Microgenics to secure all necessary FDA approvals regarding this technology within one year of the date of the consent. The Commission previously approved a six-month extension to that period and the period during which Roche was required to supply certain material to Microgenics. This extension grants Microgenics three more months to complete the FDA approval process. The Commission vote to extend the time period was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary not participating. (FTC Docket No. C-3809; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526; see press releases dated August 7, February 25, and September 23, 1998; Docket No. C-3809.)

 

Commission extension of public comment periods:

 

  • The FTC has unanimously approved a staff recommendation to extend the public comment period for the following: Smokeless Tobacco Regulatory Rule review. A Federal Register notice announcing the extension of the public comment period until July 21, 2000 will be published shortly. (FTC File No. P994503; staff contact is Rosemary Rosso, 202-326-2174; see press release dated March 2, 2000.)

 

Commission approval of consent in settlement of court action:

 

  • The FTC has approved a consent agreement settling a court action in the following matter: Unitel Systems, Inc., d/b/a Universe of Toys. Additional defendants in the matter included: Robert Kenneth Frisch, Jr., individually and as an officer of the corporate defendant; Delaney Leon Hinton, individually and as an officer of the corporate defendant; Baljeet S. Anand, a/k/a Bill Singh, individually and as an officer of the corporate defendant; and Harmit S. Anand, a/k/a Sonny Singh, individually. According to the Commission complaint, the defendants violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, as amended, by making false earnings claims, failing to provide franchises with complete and accurate disclosure documents, and failing to disclose that one of their references (Harmit Anand) was the principal of Unitel's primary supplier, Galaxy of Toys.

    Under the terms of the settlement, they will be prohibited from violating the Commission's Franchise and Business Opportunities Rule and Telemarketing Sales Rule in the future, from misrepresenting the potential profits of any business opportunity, and will be required to post a $1 million performance bond before engaging in telemarketing or the sale of a business venture. The settlement, reached as part of the FTC's Operation Trade Name Game, also includes a suspended judgment for the full amount of consumer injury, over $2.75 million, provided that the Anand's each pay $60,000 over a three-year payment schedule.

    The Commission vote to approve the settlement was 5-0. It was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and signed by the judge on February 3, 2000. It was entered on the docket on February 4, 2000. (FTC File No. X970065; staff contact is James E. Elliott, Dallas Regional Office, 214-979-9373.)

 

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release 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 Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; toll free: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357); TDD 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.

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