Announced Actions for March 16, 2001

Applications for proposed divestitures:

For Your Information

The Commission has received applications for five proposed divestitures from the following: El Paso Energy Corporation/The Coastal Corporation. The applications concern the merger of El Paso and Coastal, which was the subject of a proposed consent agreement for public comment announced by the FTC on January 29, 2001. Through the applications, El Paso/Coastal has requested Commission approval of the following: 1) the sale of a 0.48 percent interest as a general partner in the Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. ("Iroquois") to NJNR Pipeline Company, an indirect subsidiary of New Jersey Resources Corporation; 2) the sale of a 5.96 percent interest as a general partner in Iroquois to TCPL Northeast Ltd., an indirect subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines Limited, a Canadian corporation; 3) the sale of an 8.72 percent interest as a general partner in Iroquois to CNG Iroquois, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc.; 4) the sale of a 0.84 percent interest as a general partner in Iroquois to Iroquois Pipeline Investment, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of PG&E National Energy Group, which is itself a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation; and 5) the sale of all of the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock of both Midwestern Gas Transmission Company and Midwestern Gas Marketing Company to Border Midwestern Company, a subsidiary of Northern Border Intermediate Limited Partnership, which is controlled by Northern Border Partners, L.P.

The applications were made pursuant to Paragraph III C. of the FTC's decision and order in this matter. The Commission is accepting public comment on the applications until April 16, 2001. Comments may be submitted to: Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. (FTC File No. 001-0086, Docket No. C-3996; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526; see press release dated January 29, 2001.)

Amended complaint:

The Commission has authorized staff to file an amended complaint regarding the following matters: First Capital Consumer Membership Services, Inc. and Forum Marketing Services, Inc. The complaints against these defendants were announced separately last October as part of the FTC's "Operation Protection Deception" law enforcement sweep targeting credit card protection fraud. As the two matters are related, the amended complaint adds the Forum defendants (plus one new entity they control) to the First Capital complaint and includes two new counts to address more recent allegedly fraudulent activity by the defendants. The newly added defendant is a corporation, QualyCon of New York, Inc., formed by Forum defendant William John Velasquez. The Commission vote to file the amended complaint was 4-0, with Commissioner Sheila Anthony not participating. (FTC File Nos. X010004 and X010006; staff contact is Peter W. Lamberton, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3274; see press release dated October 30, 2000.)

Consent agreements given final approval:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 991-0301; staff contact is Rhett Krulla, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2608; see press release dated February 5, 2001.)

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: Jore Corporation. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 002-3237; staff contact is Laura D. Koss, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2890; see press release dated February 6, 2001.)

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent order regarding the following: Sharp Electronics Corp. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 5-0. Under the terms of the consent order, purchasers of the Sharp Mobilon 4100, 4500 or 4600 handheld PC are entitled to receive a Callisto handheld PC upgrade that incorporates the Microsoft Windows CE 2.11 Operating System. To receive this upgrade, these consumers need only pay a $10 shipping and handling fee. Covered purchasers must "respond with payment [of the $10 fee] and a properly completed form" no later than Tuesday, May 29, 2001, with information on where to apply provided in the text of the order. (FTC File No. 992-3263; staff contact is Kerry O'Brien, FTC Western Region, 415-356-5266; see press release dated January 25, 2001.)

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.

Contact Information

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