The following parties have applied for approval of two hold separate trustee agreements, pursuant to a proposed decision and consent order previously accepted by the Commission for public comment on June 15: Lafarge (Lafarge) S.A., Blue Circle Industries PLC, Blue Circle North America Inc., and Blue Circle Inc. (collectively, Blue Circle). Paragraphs II.D and III.D of the consent order require the parties to enter into: 1) the Lime Hold Separate Trustee Agreement signed by the parties and William M. Troutman; and 2) the Great Lakes Hold Separate Agreement signed by the parties and Daniel E. Somes no later than 10 days after the parties signed the consent agreement. Through this petition, the parties have requested Commission approval of both agreements. (FTC File No. 001-0112; staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated June 18, 2001.)
Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement regarding the following: Juno Online Services, Inc. The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 4-0, with Chairman Timothy J. Muris not participating. (FTC File No. 002-3061; staff contact is Laura M. Sullivan, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3327; see press release dated May 15, 2001.)
Publication of Federal Register notice:
The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice of final rulemaking regarding the following: Amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Premerger Notification Rules and their Transmission to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Effective July 1, 2001 the FTC will amend the Antitrust Improvements Act Notification and Report Form and accompanying Instructions for Certain Mergers and Acquisitions, 16 CFR Part 803, Appendix, which must be completed and submitted by persons required to report mergers or acquisitions pursuant to the HSR Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. 18a). Under the Act, certain acquired and acquiring persons must file a notification and report form with the FTC and the DOJ to provide advance notification of mergers and acquisitions. The agencies use this information to determine if the proposed transaction may be anticompetitive and to take enforcement action, if appropriate, to prevent the consummation of transactions that violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Only after observing the waiting period under the Act may the companies complete the proposed transaction. The amended form and instructions require filers to: 1) report revenue data using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) rather than the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System; 2) use 1997 rather than 1992 as the base year for reporting revenue data; and 3) report insurance activities in the body of the form rather than in an insurance appendix. In addition to amendments to the form, several rules are amended to replace references to the SIC codes with references to the NAICS codes.
The Commission vote to amend the Rules and publish a notice of the final rulemaking was 5-0. The final rule can be found on the Commission's Web site within the Antitrust/Competition (Premerger/Hart-Scott-Rodino Act) section. (FTC File No. P859910; staff contacts are Marian Bruno and Alice Villavicencio, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2846 or 202-326-3155; see press release dated May 11, 2001.)
On October 3, 2000, the Commission filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that First Alliance Corporation and its California and Minnesota subsidiaries, the First Alliance Mortgage Companies, violated federal law by misleading consumers about the existence and amount of loan origination fees, and the interest rate and monthly payments on adjustable rate mortgage loans, resulting in consumers believing they were borrowing less money at lower interest rates than they actually were. Since announcing the case, the FTC has received phone calls from individuals nationwide. Consumers and others with information regarding First Alliance Mortgage Company relating to this case can call the FTC, toll-free, at: 1-877-862-0886. (For further information, see press release dated October 4, 2000.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.