Announced Actions for November 12, 2003

Commission approval of consent in settlement of court action:

For Your Information

The Commission has approved a consent in settlement of the court action pending against the corporate defendant in FTC v. Preferred Alliance, Inc., et al. The complaint in this matter, announced on February 14, 2003, charged the defendants, Preferred Alliance, Inc., and its principal Bruno Faillace, doing businesses as VacantSun Travel Discounts and GenesisCard, with a range of illegal activities related to the company’s negative-option sales of buying club memberships through third-party telemarketers. In filing the complaint, the FTC sought injunctive relief to stop permanently the allegedly illegal activities, as well as ancillary relief including consumer redress, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and restitution as deemed necessary by the court.

The FTC now has settled the charges against the bankrupt corporate defendant. Under the terms of the settlement, Preferred Alliance, Inc., through its Chapter 7 trustee, is permanently barred from engaging in any business and from seeking the authority to operate Preferred Alliance’s business. Additionally, the trustee is barred from selling Preferred Alliance’s customer list, and is required to transfer all of the corporate books and records to the FTC if he seeks to abandon them. The Commission vote to approve the settlement was 5-0. The charges against individual defendant Faillace are still pending. No trial date has yet been set.

Note: This stipulated judgment and order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Stipulated judgments and orders have the force of law when signed by the judge. (FTC File No. X030022; staff contact is Stephen L. Cohen, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3222; see press release dated February 14, 2003.)

Commission approval of amended complaint:

The Commission has approved the filing of an amended complaint in its case against TLD Network Ltd. Through the action, the FTC has added Barclays Bank PLC as a post-judgment relief defendant in the case. The underlying case involved the deceptive sale of domain names ending in suffixes not recognized over the Internet, such as “.usa.” The FTC alleges that Barclays is holding money that consumers were defrauded out of in the original TLD case. The FTC wants to recover those funds so that they can be returned to victims. The vote to approve the amended complaint was 5-0. (FTC File No. X020026, Civ. No. 02 C 1475; staff contacts are C. Steven Baker and Steven M. Wernikoff, FTC Midwest Region, 312-960-5634; see press releases dated March 11 and April 23, 2002.)

Commission approval of final consent order:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter concerning Nestle Holdings, Inc.’s acquisition of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. The Commission vote to approve the final consent order and forward letters to the commenters of record was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour not participating. (FTC File No. 021-0174, staff contact is Catharine M. Moscatelli, Deputy Assistant Director, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2694; see press release dated June 25, 2003.)

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, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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