Liberty Media Files Motion to Reopen and Set Aside FTC Final Order; FTC Seeks Public Comment on Food Industry Marketing Practices

Liberty Media Files Motion to Reopen and Set Aside FTC Final Order; FTC Seeks Public Comment on Food Industry Marketing Practices

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Motion to reopen and set aside final Commission order: The Commission has received a motion from Liberty Media Corporation (Liberty) requesting that the FTC reopen and set aside the final order in the matter of Time Warner, Inc., et al. (Docket No. C-3709), as it applies to Liberty and its continuing ownership of Time Warner stock during the term of the order. Under the order, which addresses competitive concerns related to the integration of Time Warner programming services and cable systems with other cable systems in the United States, Liberty is prohibited from holding any ownership interest in Time Warner that is entitled to exercise voting power, with certain limited exceptions.

In its motion, Liberty states that while the order is set to expire in less than one year, continuation of the order during that time – particularly its restrictions on Liberty’s ownership of voting stock in Time Warner – “has the potential to significantly disrupt the efficient operations of securities markets.” Liberty also asserts that it has not had any ownership interest in any U.S. cable system since 2001, nor has it any intention of acquiring such interests. Liberty argues that these changed circumstances mean that there is no continuing public interest served by the maintenance of the order provisions relating to Liberty, and that those provisions should therefore be set aside. The motion can be found on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this release.

The Commission is accepting public comments on the motion for 30 days, until March 28, 2006, after which it will decide whether to approve it. Comments should be sent to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. (Docket No. C-3709; the staff contacts is Roberta S Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated September 12, 1996.)

Publication of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice requesting public comment regarding food industry marketing practices to children and adolescents. According to the notice, the Conference Report for the law appropriating funds for the FTC for fiscal year 2006 instructs the Commission to submit a report to Congress on marketing activities and expenditures of the food industry targeted toward children and adolescents. The notice details the types of information requested and tells interested parties how and where to submit their comment. Comments are due to the Commission on or before Monday, April 3, 2006.

The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0. A copy of the notice can be found as a link to this press release and on the FTC’s Web site. (FTC File No. P064504; the staff contacts are Mary Johnson, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3115 and Rielle Montague, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2645).

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and 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:
FTC Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180