Announced Actions for October 6, 2000

For Your Information

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Approval of application for divestiture:

The FTC has approved a proposed divestiture from the following: Exxon Mobil Corporation. The divestiture, required by Paragraphs III.A-III.C of the FTC's November 30, 1999 consent agreement, concerns the sale of Exxon Mobil's Guam assets to South Pacific Petroleum Corporation. The assets are currently held by Exxon Mobil's subsidiary Exxon Mobil International Holdings, Guam Branch. The Commission vote to approve the divestiture 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.)

Publication of Federal Register notices:

The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice announcing the reopening and extension of the public comment period for the following: Regulations Implementing the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 (Smokeless Tobacco Act). As detailed in the notice, the FTC will now accept public comments until October 16, 2000. Written comments should be identified as "16 CFR Part 307" and sent to the Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments may also be submitted electronically in the format described in the notice. The complete text of the Act is available on the Commission's Web site at www.ftc.gov. The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 4-1. (FTC File No. P994503; staff contact is Rosemary Rosso, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3076.)

The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding the following: The Adjustment for Inflation of the FTC's Civil Penalty Amounts. As detailed in the notice, civil penalty amounts under statutes within the agency's jurisdiction are being adjusted for inflation by approximately 10 percent, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Act of 1996. The increases will become effective November 20, 2000.

Civil penalty amounts for violations of trade regulation rules and orders enforced under or by reference to the FTC Act and for violations of Clayton Act § 7A will increase from $11,000 to $12,000. Civil penalty amounts in the Webb-Pomerene Act § 5, Wool Products Labeling Act § 6(b), Fur Products Labeling Act §§ 3(e) and 8(d)(2) and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act § 333(a) (appliance labeling) will increase from $110 to $120. Civil penalties for other provisions, such as Clayton Act § 11, FTC Act § 10, and Energy Policy and Conservation Act § 525(a) and (b) (recycled oil), will reflect comparable percentage increases. The Federal Register notice explains that public comment is unnecessary, as the increases are mandatory and the FTC has no discretion in determining their amounts. The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. P859907; staff contact is Alex Tang, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2447.)

Release of Commission report:

The Commission has approved the release of the following publication, as required under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and through guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget: The Federal Trade Commission Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2000-2005. Every three years, each government agency is required to prepare and submit an updated strategic plan regarding its program activities that covers at least the following five years. The FTC's original strategic plan was prepared in 1997, in consultation with Congress and external "stakeholders" in the agency's mission. Presented to Congress on September 30, 2000 the Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2000-2005 first presents an overview of the FTC's history and current activities, future goals, objectives, strategies and performance measures for the next five years. It then details how the plan will be implemented in the areas of consumer protection and maintaining competition, on an objective-by-objective basis. Finally, it includes a summary of the laws enforced by the Commission, an overview of the key components of the FTC and a list of the primary stakeholders involved in the plan's development.

The Commission vote to issue the plan was 5-0. It is available from the Consumer Response Center by calling toll-free 1-877-382-4357 and from the FTC's Web site at: www.ftc.gov. (File No. P950101; staff contact is Henry Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer, 202-326-2664).

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.

Media Contact:

Office of Public Affairs

202-326-2180