FTC Staff Urges Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners Not to Adopt a Proposed Rule Restricting Competition; FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Nufarm Limiteds Acquisition of A.H. Marks Holding Limited was Anticompetitive

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FTC Staff Urges Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners Not to Adopt a Proposed Rule Restricting Competition

Staff of the Federal Trade Commission have urged the Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners not to adopt a proposed rule that would restrict competition by prohibiting non-veterinarians from animal teeth floating – the practice of filing the outer contours of an animal’s teeth.

Staff from the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Economics, and Bureau of Competition have sent a comment letter to the Texas Board stating that the proposed rule would eliminate important competition between veterinarian and non-veterinarian teeth floaters, likely reducing consumers' choice among providers, and increasing the price they would pay for floating services.

The proposed rule would prohibit any non-veterinarian from floating the teeth of animals with motorized or air-powered files unless they are under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Under current state rules, no such supervision is required. In the letter, staff states that it knows of no reason that the proposed requirement is needed to protect animal well-being or otherwise benefit consumers who buy floating services.

The FTC vote approving the staff letter to the Board was 5-0. A copy of the letter can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2010/09/100910texasteethfloating.pdf. (FTC File No. V1000015; the staff contact is Gustav P. Chiarello, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2633.)

FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Nufarm Limited's Acquisition of A.H. Marks Holding Limited was Anticompetitive

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final
consent order settling charges that Nufarm Limited’s 2008 acquisition of rival A.H. Marks Holding Limited reduced competition in the U.S. market for three herbicides used by farmers, landscapers, and consumers. The settlement order requires Nufarm to sell rights and assets associated with two of the herbicides to competitors and to modify agreements with two other herbicide manufacturers to restore competition lost through the acquisition.

The FTC vote approving the final order was 4-0, with Commissioner Edith Ramirez recused. (FTC File No. 081-0130; the staff contact is Jonathan Platt, FTC Northeast Region, 212-607-2819. See press release dated July 28, 2010 at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/07/nufarm.shtm.)

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 35.2010.wpd)

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