Commission approval of petition to reopen and modify FTC consent order: The Commission has approved a petition from Wright Medical Technology, Inc. (Wright) to reopen and modify a 1994 consent order that arose from Wright’s cash tender offer for all shares of common stock and outstanding convertible preferred stock of Orthomet, Inc. Under the terms of that order, which was finalized in 1995, for 10 years, Wright was required to obtain prior Commission approval before: 1) acquiring more than one percent of the stock, share capital, or other equity interest in any concern that has filed a 510(k) application or IDE application relating to orthopaedic finger implants or had announced the intention to do so, or has received FDA approval related to such implants; 2) acquiring any assets relating to such implants for which FDA approval has been sought, the intention to seek such approval has been announced, or such approval has been received; and 3) entering into any agreement with the Mayo Foundation relating to such implants.
Through its petition, filed on September 16, 2003, Wright requested the final order be reopened and that the prior approval requirement be eliminated, stating that this modification would be in the public interest. The petition cites a policy announced by the Commission on June 22, 1995, stating that the FTC no longer routinely would require prior-approval provisions in orders issued in competition cases because the HSR Act is effective for identifying, investigating, and challenging proposed large acquisitions that are likely to have an anticompetitive effect. The policy statement also stated that, in ruling on petitions to reopen and modify orders that included prior-approval provisions, the Commission would apply a rebuttable presumption that removing prior-approval provisions from existing orders is in the public interest.
The prior approval requirement is Wright’s only remaining substantive obligation under the order, which in any event will terminate by its terms on April 4, 2005. The Commission has set aside orders in other matters under similar circumstances. Accordingly, the Commission has determined to set aside in its entirety the order issued against Wright. The Commission vote to set aside the order was 5-0. (Docket No. C-3564; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press releases dated December 8, 1994, March 30, 1995, and September 16, 2003).
Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order and letter to the commenter of record in the matter concerning Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers. The Commission vote to approve the final order and letter was 5-0. (FTC File No. 031-0001; staff contact is Alan B. Loughnan, FTC Northeast Region, 212-607-2809; see press release dated November 25, 2003.)
Publication of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice concerning the FTC’s regulatory review schedule. According to the notice, which will be published shortly and is now available on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release, the FTC does not plan to initiate a review of any additional rules or guides during 2004. The Commission’s 10-year regulatory review schedule published previously has been modified accordingly. The vote to approve publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. P924214; staff contact is Carol J. Jennings, 202-326-3010 or Neil Blickman, 202-326-3038.)
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, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.