For Your Information : June 6, 1997
The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions.
Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved an application for approval of a divestiture from Mahle GMBH, of Stuttgart, Germany. See below for more details.
Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period on each, the Commission has made final consent agreements with the following entities. The Commission action makes the consent orders binding on the respondents.
- The consent order with Abbott Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Illinois, settles charges that the firm's national advertising campaign deceptively promoted Ensure as a doctor-recommended meal supplement and replacement for healthy adults. The FTC also alleged that the compaign contained false claims that one serving of Ensure provides vitamins in an amount comparable to typical multivitamin supplements. The order prohibits Abbott from making scientifically unsubstantiated claims about the extent to which doctors or other professionals recommend any food or dietary or nutritional supplement for healthy adults; and about the recommendation, approval or endorsement of any such product by any person, profession or other entity. The order also bars Abbott from misrepresenting that one serving of any product sold as a meal replacement or supplement for healthy adults, including Ensure, provides vitamins in an amount comparable to typical vitamin supplements; and from misrepresenting the amount of any vitamin or any other nutrient or ingredient in such products. (See Jan. 2, 1997 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3745; Commission vote on May 30 to approve the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is Michelle Rusk, 202-326-3148.
- The consent order with 11 dealerships involved in the FTC's case against the Detroit Automobile Dealers Association (DADA) settles charges that they violated federal antitrust laws when they conspired to close on Saturdays and most week nights. The order prohibits each dealer from agreeing with any other Detroit area dealer or dealer association to establish, maintain or adhere to any hours of operation, or requesting or encouraging any dealer or dealer association to maintain any hours of operation; bars each from exchanging information with any dealer or dealer association concerning hours of operation except in certain circumstances; and limits a minimum weekly hours-of-operation requirement to the time during which the dealers already were in compliance. The dealership and individual respondents are: Crestwood Dodge, Inc., Garder City; Bob Borst Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., Troy, and Robert C. Borst; Bob Dusseau, Inc., Farmington, and Robert F. Dusseau; Bob Maxey Lincoln-Mercury Sales, Inc., Detroit, and Robert Maxey; Crest Lincoln-Mercury Sales, Inc., Sterling Heights, and William R. Ritchie; Stewart Chevrolet, Inc., Woodhaven, and Gordon L. Stewart; Woody Pontiac Sales, Inc., Hamtramck, and Woodrow W. Woody; Jack Demmer Ford, Inc., Wayne, and John E. Demmer; Al Long Ford, Inc., Warren; Ed Schmid Ford, Inc., Ferndale, and Edward F. Schmid; and Ray Whitfield Ford, Taylor, and Raymond J. Whitfield. (See March 14, 1997 news release regarding this case; Docket No. DO9189; Commission vote on June 3 to issue the order as final was 5-0.) Staff contact is Mark Whitener, 202-326-2845.
- A consent order, with one technical change, approved by the Commission with Mahle GMBH, a German firm, and its Morristown, Tennessee, subsidiary, Mahle, Inc., Metal Leve, S.A., a Brazilian firm, and its Ann Arbor, Michigan, subsidiary, Metal Leve, Inc., settles charges that Mahle's acquisition of Metal Leve S.A. and Metal Leve, Inc. violated antitrust laws by substantially reducing competition in the markets for articulated and large-bore, two-piece pistons used in diesel engines. The order requires Mahle to divest, within 10 days, Metal Leve's U.S. piston business, which includes plants in Orangeburg and Sumter, South Carolina, and a research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as technology outside the Untied States which supports the business of manufacturing and selling pistons in the United States. Once the divestiture is accomplished, Metal and Mahle will cease to have any rights to the former Metal Leve articulated piston technology. The change in the order permits Mahle to sell in Sweden (as well as in Brazil, as allowed in the proposed order) one particular articulated replacement piston that fits a single Volvo engine. The Commission also has granted Mahle GMBH's application to make the required divestiture to T&N Industries, Inc., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a subsidiary of T&N plc, a British firm. (See Sept 3, 1996 and Feb. 27 1997 news releases for additional information about this matter; Commission vote on June 3 to issue the consent order as final and also to approve the divestiture was 5-0; Docket No. C-3746. Note: The Commission also took action against these firms for allegedly failing to give federal antitrust enforcers advance notice of the acquisition. A final settlement in that case, which will include civil penalties in excess of $5 million, will be filed in federal district court shortly.) Staff contacts are Howard Morse, 202-326-2949 (regarding the consent order), and Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526 (regarding the divestiture approval).
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
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