Commission Extends Public Comment Period in Matter of Negotiated Data Solutions, LLC; FTC Approves Federal Register Notice Seeking Comments on Platinum Section of Jewelry Guides

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Commission extension of public comment period: By a vote of 5-0, the Commission has approved the extension of the public comment period related to the recent consent order in the matter of Negotiated Data Solutions, LLC. As a result of this vote, the comment period, which was originally set to end on February 22, 2008, has been extended until April 24, 2008. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register notice, which is attached to this press release on the FTC’s Web site and will be published shortly. (FTC File No. 051-0094; the staff contact is Kent E. Cox, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2058; see press release dated January 23, 2008.)

Commission approval of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the issuance of a Federal Register notice seeking comments on a proposed amendment to the platinum section for the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, 16 CFR Part 23 (Jewelry Guides) to address new platinum alloys, and, specifically, whether the Guides should address platinum-plated, platinum-filled, and similar products.

The current platinum section of the Guides gives examples of how marketers can use the term “platinum” non-deceptively to describe products containing platinum, or platinum alloyed with certain platinum-like precious metals (i.e., platinum group metals). In June 2005, the FTC published a Federal Register notice seeking comments on whether and how the Commission should amend the Guides to address certain new alloys of platinum that contain less than 850, but more than 500, parts per thousand pure platinum, and no other platinum group metals, known as platinum-base metal alloys.

The proposed amendment provides guidance on how to non-deceptively mark or describe platinum-base metal alloy products. The proposed guidance provides that marketers may use the term “platinum” or any abbreviation to describe such products provided they disclose that the product contains platinum and other non-platinum group metals and the product’s full composition, by name and not abbreviation, and the percentage of each metal.

The proposal further provides that marketers disclose that the platinum base-metal alloy product may not have the same attributes as products containing at least 850 parts per thousand pure platinum, or at least 500 parts per thousand pure platinum and at least 950 parts per thousand platinum group metals (i.e., traditional platinum products). The proposed amendment states further that if marketers possess competent and reliable evidence that their platinum base-metal alloy does have the same attributes as traditional platinum products, marketers may omit this last disclosure. The Commission is accepting comments on the proposed amendment until May 25, 2008.

The vote approving the issuance of the Federal Register notice was 5-0. The notice will be published soon and is available now on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. G711001; the staff contact is Robin Rosen Spector, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3740; see related press release dated June 29, 2005.)

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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