FTC Issues Compliance Guide For Its Petroleum Market Manipulation Regulations; FTC Approves Final Consent Order in Matter Concerning K+S Aktiengesellschaft and International Salt Company, LLC

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FTC Issues Compliance Guide For Its Petroleum Market Manipulation Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission’s staff has prepared a guide to help businesses and individuals comply with the anti-fraud provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) and the FTC’s Petroleum Market Manipulation Rule.

The EISA authorizes the FTC to issue regulations to prohibit manipulative or deceptive conduct in wholesale petroleum markets and makes it unlawful to report false or misleading information related to the wholesale price of crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillates to federal agencies in certain circumstances. The FTC’s Petroleum Market Manipulation Rule, which became effective November 4, 2009, prohibits fraudulent or deceptive conduct (including false or misleading statements of material fact) in connection with wholesale purchases or sales of crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillates. The Rule also bans intentional failures to state a material fact when the omission makes a statement misleading and distorts or is likely to distort market conditions for any product covered by the Rule.

The FTC’s Guide to Complying with Petroleum Market Manipulation Regulations answers commonly asked questions and examines various scenarios to help those trading in wholesale petroleum markets comply with the regulations. The Guide is available on the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rules/prohibition-energy-market-manipulation-rule/091113mmrguide.pdf and as a link to this press release. (See press release dated August 26, 2008 at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/mmr.shtm.)

FTC Approves Final Consent Order in Matter Concerning K+S Aktiengesellschaft and International Salt Company, LLC

Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter concerning the acquisition of Morton International, Inc. by K+S Aktiengesellschaft, the parent company of International Salt Company LLC. The FTC’s complaint charged that, absent relief, the proposed acquisition would have been anticompetitive. The consent order settling the charges was announced on September 25, 2009.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC File No. 091-0086; the staff contact is Jill Frumin, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2758; see press release dated September 25, 2009, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/09/mortonsalt.shtm.)

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.

(FYI 50.2009.wpd)

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