Announced Actions for May 20, 2005

For Your Information

Petition requesting Commission approval of agreement amendments: The Commission has received a petition from the Dow Chemical Corporation (Dow) requesting approval of certain amendments to the “Ineos Agreement,” which is incorporated into the decision and order allowing the 2001 merger of Dow and Union Carbide. The final order in this matter contained terms designed to remedy the anticompetitive effects of the merger in markets that included ethanolamines and methyldiethanolamines (MDEA). The order required Dow to divest to its global ethanolamines business to Ineos, and Dow’s business related to the sale of MDEA sold under the Gas Spec trade name. On February 12, 2001, Dow divested the Dow Global Ethanolamines Business and the Dow Gas Spec MDEA Business to Ineos, in accordance with the terms of the order’s “Ineos Agreement.”

Through its petition, Dow has requested that the Commission approve an amended “GAS/SPEC Supply Agreement,” under which Dow supplies Ineos with GAS/SPEC solvent, solvent additive, and solvent MDEA. Ineos has agreed to this amendment, whose purpose, according to the respondent is “to secure maximum availability of GAS/SPEC and solvent MDEA products to Ineos at fair prices and to reduce any unnecessary financial burden on Ineos.” In addition, Dow has requested Commission approval of an amendment to the “EO Supply Agreement,” under which Dow supplies Ineos with ethylene oxide (EO) used to make ethanolamines at Ineos’ plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana. This amendment also has been approved by Ineos, and would, according to respondent, “secure continuing maximum availability of EO to Ineos and limit the impact of future EO supply interruptions (if any) at Dow’s Plaquemine EO plant.”

The Commission is accepting public comments on the petition for 30 days, until June 18, 2005, after which time it will determine whether to approve it. A public version of the petition can be found on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release. Comments should be sent to FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. (Docket No. C-3999; the staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated February 5, 2001.)

Commission approval of final consent order: The Commission has approved a final consent order addressing only the claims relating to Count III of the Complaint in the matter concerning Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corp., et al. The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0-1, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras not participating. (Docket No. D09135; the staff contact is Elizabeth Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated April 5, 2005.)

New Project Scofflaw Web site: The Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has launched a new section on the FTC’s Web site devoted to Project Scofflaw, which tracks offenders that have violated prior Commission orders. The new site, which can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/scofflaw/ includes both annual and cumulative case statistics on actions the FTC has brought since the project’s inception nine years ago, as well as case summaries with links to relevant press releases. The site also includes two public staff reports to the Commission discussing the project’s initiatives and actions and an article published in the American Bar Association Section on Antitrust Law’s Consumer Protection Committee’s fall 2004 newsletter updating Scofflaw accomplishments through September 2004.

Since the inception of Project Scofflaw, 39 defendants have been prosecuted criminally for violating FTC-obtained federal court orders. Thirty of these defendants have been sentenced to a total of 124 years in prison or some other type of confinement, such as home detention, for their recidivism. Since October 2004 alone, seven Scofflaw defendants have been sentenced to more than 47 years in jail or home confinement, and ordered to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution for violating prior FTC orders.

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

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202-326-2180