Announced Actions for March 23, 2001

Commission approval of trustee agreement:

For Your Information

The Commission has approved a trustee agreement regarding the following matter:

Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation. The proposed order in this matter requires among other things that Dow divest to identified up-front buyers its ethyleneamines, ethanolamines and methyldiethanolamine ("MDEA")-based gas treating products businesses. Under the terms of the proposed order, the Commission may appoint a monitor trustee to oversee the respondents' obligations under the order, including the maintenance of the assets to be divested and the ongoing provision of services to the divested businesses. Through this action, the Commission has approved the trust agreement between Dow and monitor trustee Richard M. Klein. The agreement sets out his responsibilities, authority and compensation schedule for his performance as monitor trustee in this matter. The Commission vote to approve the trust agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 991-0301; staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861; see press release dated February 5, 2001.)

Release of Commission report:

The Commission has authorized staff to publicly release the following: The 23rd Annual Report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This report summarizes the Commission's administration and enforcement of the FDCPA during 2000. It presents an overview of the types of consumer complaints received by the Commission, a summary of the Commission's consumer and industry education initiatives, and descriptions of the Commission's debt-collection enforcement cases that became public in 2000. The report also contains five recommendations for amendments to the FDCPA that the Commission believes will improve the statute's clarity and effectiveness as a law enforcement tool.

The FDCPA prohibits abusive, deceptive and otherwise improper collection practices by third-party debt collectors. Section 815 of the FDCPA requires the Commission to submit annual reports to Congress. The Commission vote to issue the report was 5-0. (FTC File No. P014804; staff contact is Thomas E. Kane, 202-326-3224.)

Modified consent agreement given final approval:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a modified consent agreement regarding the following: El Paso Energy Corporation/The Coastal Corporation. Each of the modifications relates to the establishment of the Development Fund for the Green Canyon/Tarpon pipeline acquirer and is described in the Commission's final order. The Commission vote to finalize the modified consent agreement was 5-0. (FTC File No. 001-0086, Docket No. C-3996; staff contact is William R. Vigdor, Bureau of Competition
202-326-3177; see press release dated January 29, 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