FTC Issues FY 2006 FDCPA Report to Congress; Commission Approves Filing of Amended Complaint in Matter of Global Marketing Group, Inc.; FTC Approves Federal Register Notice on Recycled Oil Rule; FTC Approves Federal Register Notice on Agency Systems of

For Your Information

Commission approval of reports to Congress: The Commission has authorized the staff to release publicly the 29th Annual Report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This report, which is available now on the FTC’s Web site, summarizes the Commission’s administration and enforcement of the FDCPA during 2006. It presents an overview of the types of consumer complaints received by the Commission, descriptions of the Commission’s debt-collection law enforcement actions, and a summary of the Commission’s consumer and industry education initiatives. The FDCPA prohibits deceptive, unfair, and abusive 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. P074803; the staff contact is Thomas E. Kane, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3224.)

Commission authorization of amended complaint filing: The Commission has authorized the staff of the Bureau of Consumer Protection to file an amended complaint in the case currently pending against Global Marketing Group, Inc., et al. The FTC’s original complaint in this matter, filed in December 2006, charged the defendants with operating a payment-processing operation that allegedly helped fraudulent telemarketers take millions of dollars from consumers’ bank accounts. The court entered a temporary restraining order on December 13, 2006, freezing the defendants’ assets and appointing a temporary receiver over all of the corporate defendants. The court then entered a stipulated preliminary injunction against all defendants in the case on January 11, 2007, which continued the asset freeze and receivership put in place by the TRO.

Through the amended complaint, also filed in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, the FTC has added Kevin D. Astl as an individual defendant in this matter, along with 17 new corporate defendants that are alleged to be part of the illegal common enterprise. The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint, a copy of which can be found on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release, was 4-0, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras not participating. (FTC File No. X070012, Civ. No. 08:06-cv-2272-T-30TGW; the staff contact is James Davis, Bureau Consumer Protection, 312-960-561; see press release dated December 20, 2006.)

Commission approval of Federal Register notices: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding the regulatory review of the Test Procedures and Labeling Standards for Recycled Oil, commonly known as the Recycled Oil Rule. The Rule, which is mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, prescribes testing procedures and labeling standards for recycled oil. As detailed in the notice (which will be published shortly and is now available on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release), in July 2006, as part of the FTC’s regulatory review program, the agency sought public comments on the Rule. The Commission has now completed its regulatory review of the Recycled Oil Rule and, with two exceptions, has retained the Rule in its current form. First, the revised Rule incorporates by reference the updated recycled oil testing procedures promulgated by American Petroleum Institute (API) Publication 1509, Fifteenth Edition. Second, as required by the Director of the Federal Register, the Rule updates the incorporation by reference approval language.

The Commission vote authorizing the publication of the notice in the Federal Register was 5-0. (File No. R511036; staff contact is Janice Podoll Frankle, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3022; see press release dated June 30, 2006.)

– The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding a proposed amendment to the FTC’s existing routine uses of agency systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974. As detailed in the notice, which will be published soon and can be found now on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release, the amendment is necessary to implement data breach guidance issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the President’s Identity Theft Task Force. The guidance is intended to ensure that federal agencies have legal and administrative procedures in place to respond and remedy or prevent harm to individual privacy in the case of an agency breach of personal data.

The Commission vote authorizing the publication of the notice in the Federal Register was 5-0. (File No. P072104; the staff contact is Alex Tang, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2447.)

Commission approval of final consent orders: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved the issuance of a final consent order in the matter concerning MiRealSource. The Commission vote to approve the final order was 5-0. (Docket No. D09321; the staff contact is Patrick J. Roach, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2793; see press release dated February 5, 2007.)

– Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved the issuance of a final consent order in the matter concerning Hospira, Inc. and Mayne Pharma Limited. The Commission vote to approve the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 071-0002, Docket No. C-4182; the staff contact is David Inglefield, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2637; see press release dated January 18, 2007.)

Petition for approval of proposed divestiture: The Commission has received a petition from Service Corporation International (SCI) and Alderwoods Group, Inc. seeking approval of a proposed divestiture related to SCI’s recent acquisition of Alderwoods. In the FTC’s consent agreement and order allowing the transaction to proceed with conditions, SCI and Alderwoods were required to divest a range of funeral home and cemetery services companies. Through this petition, a public version of which can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release, the companies have requested approval to divest Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel in Lansing, Michigan, and Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel in Holt, Michigan, to MGM, Inc.

The FTC is seeking public comments on the proposed divestiture for 30 days, until April 23, 2007, 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. (FTC File No. 061-0156, Docket No. C-4174; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated November 22, 2006.)

Commission approval of proposed divestitures: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved several divestitures related to Service Corporation International’s (SCI) recent acquisition of Alderwoods Group. In the FTC’s consent agreement and order allowing the transaction to proceed with conditions, SCI and Alderwoods were required to divest a range of funeral home and cemetery services companies, and have petitioned the Commission for approval. By votes of 5-0, the FTC has now approved the companies’ request to divest the following companies and properties to two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Carriage Services, Inc., Carriage Cemetery Services, Inc. (CCSI) and Cochrane’s Chapel of Roses, Inc.: 1) Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, located at 2052 Howard Road, Camarillo, California (Southern Ventura County); and 2) Conjeo Mountain Memorial Park, located at the same address. Under an agreement with SCI, CCSI will buy the cemetery assets and Cochrane’s will buy the funeral home assets.

The Commission also has approved the companies’ request to divest the following companies and properties to Legacy Holdings: 1) Conroe Memorial Park, Conroe, Texas; 2) Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, Killeen, Texas; 3) Palmer Mortuary, Seguin, Texas; 4) Trevino Funeral Home, Brownsville, Texas; 5) Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, Brownsville, Texas; 6) Elmwood Funeral Home, Abilene, Texas; 7) Elmwood Memorial Park, Abilene, Texas; 8) Sunset Memorial Home, Odessa, Texas; 9) Resthaven Gardens of Memory cemetery, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; 10) Resthaven Gardens of Memory funeral home, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; 11) Welsh Funeral Home, Gonzales, Louisiana; 12) James F. Webb Funeral Home, Meridian, Mississippi; and 13) James F. Webb Funeral Home, Newton, Mississippi.

Finally, the Commission has approved the companies’ request to divest to Keystone America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Keystone North America, Inc., the following companies and properties: 1) Hankins & Whittington-Dilworth Chapel, Charlotte, North Carolina; 2) Bush River Memorial Gardens, Columbia, South Carolina; 3) Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia, South Carolina; 4) Southland Memorial Gardens, West Columbia, South Carolina; 5) Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Columbia, South Carolina; 6) Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, West Columbia, South Carolina; 7) Diuguid Funeral Service, Lynchburg, Virginia; 8) Diuguid Waterlick Chapel, Lynchburg, Virginia; 9) T.J. McGowan Sons Funeral Home, Garnerville, New York; 10) T.J. McGowan Sons Funeral Home, Haverstraw, New York; 11) Shaw & Sons Funeral Directors, Inc., Yakima, Washington; 12) Glen Haven Memorial Gardens, Macon, Georgia; and 13) Lambeth Troxler Funeral Home, Greensboro, North Carolina. (FTC File No. 061-0156, Docket No. C-4174; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated November 22, 2006.)

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.

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