Announced Actions for January 30, 2001

Commission authorization to close investigation:

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The Commission has determined to close an investigation related to the following matter: SmithKline Beecham/Glaxo Wellcome. Upon acceptance for public comment of the consent agreement reached with the respondents on December 18, 2000, the FTC stated that it would continue investigating the potential effects of this pharmaceutical merger in the area of products used by consumers to help them stop smoking. Both companies market smoking-cessation products, with Glaxo selling a prescription drug called Zyban and SB marketing two over-the-counter nicotine-replacement therapy products, Nicoderm (a transdermal patch) and Nicorette (a nicotine gum). The Commission vote to close the investigation was 5-0. (FTC File No. 001-0088; staff contact is Jacqueline K. Mendel, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2603; see press release dated December 18, 2000.)

Consent agreements given final approval:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: The Valspar Corporation. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 001-0197; staff contact is Christina R. Perez, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2048; see press release dated December 19, 2000.)

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: SmithKline Beecham/Glaxo Wellcome. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 001-0088; staff contact is Jacqueline K. Mendel, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2603; see press release dated December 18, 2000.)

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: Computer Sciences Corporation and Mynd Corporation. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 001-0181; staff contact is Daniel J. Silver, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3102; see press release dated December 20, 2000.)

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a modified consent order in the following: Exxon Mobil Corporation. The final order differs slightly from the one accepted by the Commission and contains one substantive modification. As modified, the order will allow Exxon Mobil to retain certain brand names and trademarks previously included in the Exxon jet turbine oil assets to be divested. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary recused. Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Commissioners Sheila F. Anthony and Mozelle W. Thompson issued a separate statement, and Commissioner Orson Swindle also issued a separate statement. (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.)

Commission statement given before the Washington State Senate:

On January 29, 2001, Charles Harwood, Director of the FTC's Northwest Region, testified before the Washington State Senate's Committee on Labor, Commerce and Financial Institutions on the subject of identity theft, and described the Commission's efforts to help victims, alert industry and equip law enforcement to deal with this crime. The prepared statement of the Northwest Region and Bureau of Consumer Protection has been posted on the FTC Web site, and addresses the Commission's role to combat identity theft. It highlights the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 and describes the three components of the Commission's response to the Act: 1) a toll-free telephone hotline number; 2) a complaint database; and 3) consumer education efforts. The statement also describes the most common forms of identity theft, along with joint initiatives the FTC has undertaken with others (consumer reporting agencies, banks, etc.) to share complaint data and streamline dispute procedures to enable industry to develop better fraud prevention practices and consumer assistance.

The Commission vote to place a copy of the statement on the public record was 5-0. (FTC File No. V010001; staff contact is Charles A. Harwood, 206-220-4480.)

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. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.

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