FTC Appoints Monitor to Ensure that Dow Chemical Meets all Conditions of its 2009 Acquisition of Rohm & Haas; FTC Mails Redress Checks to Invention Promotion Scam Victims

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FTC Appoints Monitor to Ensure that Dow Chemical Meets all Conditions of its 2009 Acquisition of Rohm & Haas

The FTC has appointed an Interim Monitor to ensure that Dow Chemical Company follows through on all the requirements of a March 2009 agency settlement that resolved competition concerns raised by the merger of Dow and Rohm & Haas.

The settlement order requires Dow to sell assets related to its acrylic acid monomers, latex polymers, latex traffic paint, and hollow sphere particles businesses. The Commission approved divestitures of these businesses to Arkema Inc. and to OMNOVA Solutions Inc., and those transactions have closed. Under the terms of the divestiture agreements, Dow will supply critical raw materials and three of the divested products to Arkema and OMNOVA for up to five years. The Interim Monitor, Richard M. Klein, will oversee Dow’s compliance with its obligations under the settlement order and divestiture agreements, and keep Commission staff apprised of any technical or other problems that might arise.

The FTC votes approving the appointment of the Interim Monitor and the Monitor Agreement were each 5-0. (FTC Docket No. C-4243; the staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated January 23, 2009, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/01/dow.shtm.)

FTC Mails Redress Checks to Invention Promotion Scam Victims

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing more than 17,000 checks to amateur inventors defrauded by a group of swindlers who falsely promised to evaluate their ideas and help them earn substantial income from their inventions.

At FTC’s request, in 2007 a federal court found Julian Gumpel, Darrell Mormando, Michael Fleisher, Greg Wilson, and the Patent & Trademark Institute in contempt for violating a 1998 court order that prohibited false claims for invention promotion services and ordered them to pay $60 million. The redress fund represents the defendants’ available assets. (See September 6, 2007 press release at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/09/inventionswindle.shtm)

Consumers who paid to have their ideas evaluated will receive $24.83; those who also paid for other services will receive $323.29. Consumers who receive checks should cash them on or before August 31, 2010. Checks are being mailed by the redress administrator. Consumers with questions should call the administrator at 1-877-678-0735.

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s website 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 29.2010.wpd)

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