Announced Actions for April 19, 2005

For Your Information

Commission approval of petition to reopen and modify final order: The Commission has approved a petition from Aventis S.A. (Aventis), the successor company to Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc S.A. (RP) (the respondents), to reopen and modify a final consent order regarding the 1999 merger of the two companies. Under the terms of the Commission order, which became final on January 20, 2000, Aventis was required to reduce to five percent its holdings in Rhodia, a French-based chemical company in which RP held a 67 percent share at the time of the merger. The respondents were given approximately five years to complete their sale of Rhodia shares.

In the petition, announced by the FTC on December 21, 2004 (and available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0410031/041221pet0410031.pdf), Aventis requested that the Commission reopen the final order to modify and set aside certain provisions regarding the sale of Aventis’ holdings of shares in Rhodia. The Commission has determined that changed factual circumstances have eliminated the continuing need for these provisions. Kuwait Petroleum has sold its shares in Celanese, and thus severed the common link between Celanese and Rhodia that was the basis of the Commission’s original concern. Through this action, the FTC has approved Aventis’ request.

The Commission vote granting the petition to reopen and modify the decision and order was 4-0-1, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras recused. (Docket No. C-3919; staff contact is Roberta Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press releases dated December 7, 1999; and August 17, August 25, September 28, and November 7, 2001; September 20, 2002; December 3, 2003; and December 21, 2004.)

Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved the issuance of a final consent order and letter to the commenter of record in the matter concerning Preferred Health Services, Inc. The Commission vote approving the final consent order and letter was 4-0-1, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras not participating. (FTC File No. 041-0099; the staff contact is Steve Vieux, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2306; see press release dated March 2, 2005.)

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.

Contact Information

Media Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180