Testimony of Timothy J. Muris
Before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade
and Consumer Protection
Wednesday, November 7, 2001
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Timothy J. Muris, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. I am pleased to appear before you today on behalf of the Commission to discuss our law enforcement and programmatic priorities.(1)
The FTC is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.(2) We enforce laws that prohibit business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive, or unfair to consumers, as well as promote informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process. The work of the FTC is critical in protecting and strengthening free and open markets in the United States.
The FTC's record is impressive. The agency has fulfilled its mission of protecting American consumers by pursuing an aggressive law enforcement program during rapid changes in the marketplace - the past decade saw the largest merger wave in history, the rapid growth of technology, and the increasing globalization of the economy. Through the efforts of a dedicated and professional staff, the FTC has shouldered an increasing workload despite only modest increases in resources. We also have benefitted greatly from the leadership of my predecessor, Robert Pitofsky.
The guiding word at the FTC will be "continuity." The agency aggressively will pursue law enforcement initiatives, launch consumer and business education campaigns, and organize forums to study and understand the changing marketplace, just as it has done for several years. We will continue to address competition and consumer protection issues in the evolving economy with the same expertise and commitment as before.
Our competition mission will continue to reflect the following widely shared consensus: (1) the purpose of antitrust is to protect consumers; (2) the mainstays of antitrust enforcement are horizontal cases - cases involving the business relations and activities of competitors; (3) in light of recent judicial decisions and economic learning, appropriate monopolization and vertical cases are an important part of the antitrust agenda; and (4) case selection should be determined by the impact on consumers, guided by sound economic and legal analysis, and made with careful attention to the facts. The FTC is primarily a law enforcement agency, and we will continue aggressive enforcement of the antitrust laws within the agency's jurisdiction. The FTC is also an independent expert agency and a deliberative body, and is thus well suited to studying an evolving marketplace and developing antitrust policy - we will continue to hold public hearings, conduct studies, and issue reports to Congress and the public.
Similarly, there is widespread agreement on how the FTC best carries out its consumer protection mission. Twenty years ago, the FTC shifted its emphasis toward more aggressive enforcement of the basic laws of consumer protection. The staple of our consumer protection mission is to identify and fight fraud and deception. The Commission continually monitors trends and developing issues in the marketplace to determine the most effective use of its resources. The FTC has become the national leader in consumer protection and partners with other law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local, and even international levels to maximize benefits for consumers.
The FTC will continue to address significant law enforcement and policy issues throughout the economy, devoting the major portion of its resources to those areas in which the agency can provide the greatest benefits to consumers. I will highlight five areas today:
Technology and Intellectual Property
Changes in technology and the growing importance of intellectual property to the economy have caused a significant change in the FTC's work in both missions. The consumer protection mission focuses increasingly on high-tech frauds, while the competition mission works to provide consumers with the full benefits of both innovation and competition.
High-tech fraud. The FTC is the leader both in fighting fraud on the Internet and in using high-tech tools to detect and deter fraud and to educate consumers about online scams. The Internet has spawned new deceptive practices, and also has given renewed vigor to traditional scams. The FTC will continue to monitor rapidly evolving technologies used by scam artists. The FTC has brought a number of cases involving scams that depend on the special nature of technology. In a case filed September 25, for example,(3) we obtained an injunction against a cyber-scammer who allegedly used more than 5,500 copycat Web addresses to divert consumers from their intended destinations to one of his sites and hold them captive while pelting their computer screens with a barrage of advertisements.(4)
Traditional frauds have migrated to the Internet in large numbers. Many of the 200 cases challenging Internet fraud brought by the FTC since 1994 concerned old frauds in the new medium - 28 cases challenged credit repair schemes, 13 cases challenged deceptive business opportunities, and 11 cases challenged pyramid schemes. The Internet can give these old scams a sleek, new veneer, as well as provide access to a larger pool of potential victims at little cost.
We also use technology in our fight against fraud. Our high-tech undertakings include:
An example of our objectives in this area is to ensure that patent holders do not improperly withhold critical information from industry standard-setting groups to delay the creation of a standard or raise the price of admission to its use. In Dell Computer,(6) the FTC considered the issue of the capture of a standard-setting body by a holder of intellectual property rights that were critical to the standard ultimately selected by that body. Dell, a member of a standard-setting association, allegedly had influenced the choice of an industry standard for computer graphics performance without disclosing that its own intellectual property rights would benefit from the adoption of that standard to the detriment of its competitors and, ultimately, consumers. To settle the FTC's charges of antitrust violations, Dell agreed not to enforce its intellectual property rights. We currently are investigating matters that raise similar issues.
Health care costs comprise a large part of both the family budget and the national economy. Currently, health-related products and services account for approximately 15 percent of gross domestic product, up from 12 percent in 1990. Not surprisingly, health-related cases constitute an important part of the FTC's focus.
Generic drugs. A major portion of the American health care dollar purchases prescription drugs, and we will continue our efforts to prevent firms from engaging in anticompetitive practices that raise drug prices. In particular, we will strive to ensure that anticompetitive practices do not delay market entry of generic drugs, which cost less than name-brand pharmaceuticals. We will seek to ensure that protections provided to drug innovators under the Hatch-Waxman Act(7) are not abused to the detriment of consumers. As you know, Hatch-Waxman was designed to increase the flow of new pharmaceuticals into the marketplace by carefully balancing two public policy objectives: encouraging vigorous competition from generic drugs, while maintaining incentives to invest in the development of innovator drugs.
The FTC has investigated claims that manufacturers use the provisions of this Act anticompetitively in two different ways. The first involves agreements between makers of brand-name drugs and makers of generics, under which the generic entrant is essentially paid not to compete. In Abbott/Geneva,(8) for example, the parties allegedly agreed that the generic manufacturer - in exchange for money paid by the branded manufacturer - would not enter the market until their patent litigation concluded; would not enter the market with any other generic version of the product; and would not relinquish the 180-day period of exclusivity given to it under Hatch-Waxman as the firm first to file an application to make a generic equivalent.(9) Such agreements may unreasonably delay the entry of generic drug competition, potentially costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
The second issue involves unilateral conduct by branded manufacturers designed to forestall competition. For example, some branded manufacturers list additional patents in the FDA's "Orange Book," often shortly before their original patents expire, which sets the stage for launching patent infringement suits against generic drug firms poised to enter the market. Under Hatch-Waxman, such litigation triggers an automatic 30-month stay on FDA approval of the generic drug. If the listings do not meet statutory and regulatory requirements, their inclusion in the Orange Book may constitute unlawful restraints on competition.
To uncover whether strategies such as these are isolated examples or represent patterns of anticompetitive conduct, the Commission has undertaken a study, as requested by Representative Henry Waxman, to provide a more complete picture of how generic competition has developed under the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Commission has issued nearly 100 orders to innovator and generic drug companies to obtain documents related to the issues identified through investigations and to identify any other anticompetitive strategies that may exploit certain Hatch-Waxman provisions. The facts obtained through this study may provide a basis for policy recommendations in this area.
Health care fraud. Fraud in the health care sector poses a direct and immediate threat of both economic and physical injury to consumers.(10) To fight health care fraud, the FTC launched "Operation Cure.All," a comprehensive consumer and business education and law enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and misleading Internet promotion of products and services as cures or treatments for serious diseases. Just this summer, the FTC filed eight cases as part of Operation Cure.All, targeting companies that market a variety of devices, herbal products, and other dietary supplements to treat or cure cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and many other diseases.(11)
Although aggressive law enforcement is crucial, education may be the best consumer protection by preventing deception in the first place. As part of a comprehensive consumer education program, we recently partnered with the FDA to announce a new publication, Miracle Health Claims: Add a Dose of Skepticism, which provides detailed information on spotting and avoiding health care fraud. Another brochure, Who Cares: Sources of Information About Health Care Products and Services, published jointly with the National Association of Attorneys General, informs consumers about information for arthritis cures, alternative medicine, and other health issues, and where to file complaints about health care fraud. To alert older audiences about health fraud issues, the FTC works with other federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging, and with private groups, such as the AARP.
We will continue to use the Internet and other media to distribute our consumer education messages. Our Web site, www.ftc.gov, provides links to reliable health information, including www.healthfinder.gov, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services. In a little over one year, the FTC's Web-based consumer education material dealing with health issues has received nearly 80,000 hits.
To educate the unwary, the FTC also maintains three "teaser" Web sites - "Arthriticure," "Virility Plus," and "Nordicalite" - accessed using common search engines and designed to mimic fraudulent health care sites. When consumers attempt to order the bogus products, however, they are warned that if the promotions had been real, they would have been scammed. Most important, the site provides consumers with tips on how to identify Web sites that are most likely scams and directs them to sources of reliable information. In the last two years, the three teaser sites have received over 20,000 hits.
One specific type of health-related product - dietary supplements - will continue to receive special attention.(12) False or deceptive claims in the advertising for these products are especially rampant. Because total sales from such products were $15 billion in 1999 and are increasing annually by about 10 percent,(13) targeting deceptive claims for dietary supplements is an important use of FTC resources.
Many consumers are deeply concerned about the privacy of their personal information, both online and offline. Although privacy concerns have been heightened by the rapid development of the Internet, they are by no means limited to the cyberworld. Consumers can be harmed as much by the thief who steals credit card information from a mailbox or dumpster as by the one who steals that information from a Web site. Of course, the nature of Internet technology may raise its own special set of issues.
A majority of the Commission does not support online privacy legislation at this time,(14) but there is no doubt that consumer privacy is an issue that will continue to be studied and debated both at the FTC and in Congress. The Committee on Energy and Commerce, and particularly the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, have made significant contributions to the discussion of these issues. The Commission looks forward to continuing to work with the Committee and Subcommittee on these issues.
The FTC currently enforces a number of laws that address consumers' privacy.(15) The Commission intends to increase substantially the resources dedicated to privacy protection. Our initiatives in this area attempt to reduce the serious consequences that can result from the misuse of personal information and fall into three major categories: vigorous enforcement of existing laws, additional rulemaking, and continued consumer and business education.(16)
Law enforcement. The FTC intends to increase its law enforcement efforts in the following areas:
Rulemaking. The Commission plans to engage in the following rulemaking activities:
Consumer and business education and outreach. The agency will continue to conduct workshops and other educational activities:
As are health care and privacy, energy is of critical concern to consumers. The energy sector accounts for a significant portion of the nation's total economic output, and is a vital input to virtually all sectors of the economy. The FTC has long experience with energy issues. We have investigated a number of oil mergers in recent years and have brought cases where appropriate. For example, in Exxon/Mobil,(27) BP/ARCO,(28) and Chevron/Texaco,(29) the FTC required large divestitures of oil fields, refineries, pipelines, and gas stations to ensure that the combined companies would not gain market power at any level in the petroleum industry. We will continue to investigate thoroughly any activities that may raise competition issues.
The Commission recently announced a series of comprehensive conferences and hearings on "Factors that Affect the Price of Refined Petroleum Products" to further explore the practices of, and the changes occurring among, firms in the industry. The first conference was held on August 2, 2001, and agency staff is planning a second set of hearings. We expect that a significant number of experts in this field will participate at these hearings, which will be held early next year.
The FTC will investigate pricing behavior, where appropriate, in energy markets. In just the past year, we investigated various price spikes or pricing anomalies in petroleum products. Thus far, we have found no evidence of collusive activity in violation of the antitrust laws. Staff also investigated the recent gasoline price spikes in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Although these investigations did not find antitrust violations, Commission investigations nonetheless both have a deterrent effect on wrongdoing and provide the basis for action when anticompetitive practices have occurred.
Drawing upon our experience with energy and environmental matters, we have been advising states on emerging consumer issues as they deregulate and restructure their electricity and natural gas markets. A recent staff report prepared at the request of this Committee examines state retail electric programs to determine which reforms appear to have worked best in introducing competitive forces into the retail sale of electricity. The report concludes that, although the transition to competition is incomplete, the properly designed restructuring of this industry on the state level ultimately will result in benefits to consumers.(30)
The agency also focuses on energy issues that have a direct bearing on consumers' wallets. We have brought law enforcement actions challenging deceptive energy savings claims for various products.(31) We also educate consumers on energy issues by issuing alerts and other materials on topics such as saving at the gas pump, purported gas-saving products, and seasonal home heating and cooling tips. For example, the June 2001 consumer alert with gas-saving tips, How to Be Penny Wise, Not Pump Fuelish, has been well-received. We will update our Web site with a special "Energy and the Environment" page for easy reference of the relevant FTC rules, reports, and consumer and business education materials.
The FTC's careful evaluation of mergers will continue.(32) Although there has been much speculation about how the new Commission will regard merger cases, this area is yet another in which continuity, not change, will be the norm.(33) The agency will continue to follow the Merger Guidelines when assessing the impact of a proposed merger on competition.(34) Merger cases are fact intensive - the impact of a merger on competition can be assessed only with a careful investigation of the market or markets involved. If our investigation convinces us that a proposed merger will harm competition, the agency will assess proposed restructuring options presented by the parties to determine whether they will prevent that harm, or, when necessary, we will go to court to stop it.
Recent amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act(35) have reduced the overall number of HSR merger filings that the FTC and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice receive. Despite this reduction in HSR filings, the number of mergers raising competitive concerns appears to remain significant, and many are likely to present complex competitive issues that require thorough investigation. In addition, the FTC will not limit its attention only to those mergers that are the subject of an HSR filing. In a complaint filed this month, the FTC alleged that an acquisition harmed consumers, even though it was not reportable to the antitrust agencies under the HSR Act.(36) It suffices to say that the merger staff likely will remain quite busy.
The FTC also continues to focus attention on reducing the burden of merger investigations. We are reviewing the burden caused - to both the government and the parties - by document productions received in response to so-called "Second Requests." We are also assessing whether merger investigations can be streamlined and shortened. As with all matters involving merger standards and procedures, we are working with the Department of Justice to address these issues. In particular, we are working with our counterparts at the Antitrust Division to determine the "best practices" that will minimize burdens while maintaining or enhancing our enforcement capability.
The agency's mission is to protect the welfare of consumers. Today's Federal Trade Commission has forged a widespread consensus on how to protect consumers and how to work with other federal and state agencies to provide maximum benefits for consumers from our limited resources. We will continue to use the full panoply of our institutional tools in fulfilling this important mission.
1. The written statement presents the views of the Commission. My oral statement and responses to questions are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission or any other individual Commissioner.
2. The FTC has broad law enforcement responsibilities under the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. The statute provides the agency with jurisdiction over most of the economy. Certain entities, such as depository institutions and common carriers, are wholly or partially exempt from FTC jurisdiction, as is the business of insurance. In addition to the FTC Act, the FTC has enforcement responsibilities under more than 40 statutes
3. See FTC v. Zuccarini, No. 01-CV-4854 (E.D. Pa. filed Sept. 25, 2001)
4. This scam involved registering Internet domain names that are misspellings or transpositions of legitimate popular domain names to lure surfers onto a Web site that they never intended to visit. Once taken to the defendant’s sites, consumers were "mousetrapped," making it difficult to exit. Mousetrapping involves the use of a special programming code at the site that obstructs surfers’ ability to close their browser or return to the previous page. Clicks on "close" or "back" buttons only cause new unwanted windows to open. The defendant’s sites also contained a "stealth" feature, hidden under the task bar, making it invisible to consumers. Its sole function was to act as a timer, periodically launching additional pages of advertisements, without any action by consumers. Thus, even as consumers struggled to escape the defendant’s multi-window mousetrapping scheme, they were barraged with even more windows of unwanted images.
5. The other countries participating in this project are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
6. Dell Computer Co., C-3658 (May 20, 1996) (consent order).
7. See Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq. The Hatch-Waxman amendments were contained in the Drug Price Competition and Patent Restoration Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-417, 98 Stat. 1585 (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 68b, 68c, 70b; 21 U.S.C. §§ 301 note, 355, 360cc; 28 U.S.C. § 2201; 35 U.S.C. §§ 156, 271, 282 (1984)).
8. Abbott Laboratories, No. C-3945 (May 22, 2000), and Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. C-3946 (May 22, 2000) (consent orders).
9. See also Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., No. C-9293 (May 8, 2000) (consent order). The Commission has also issued a complaint against Schering-Plough and two producers of generic drugs challenging their settlement agreements resolving patent litigation involving the drug K-Dur. Schering-Plough, No. 9297 (complaint issued April 2, 2001). Because the case is currently in administrative litigation, we cannot comment further.
10. Combating health fraud has been a longstanding priority of the Commission. Since 1998, the Commission has brought 80 cases involving health and safety claims in advertising.
11. See Panda Herbal Int'l, Inc., No. C-4018 (Aug. 8, 2001) (consent order) (St. John's Wort and Herb Veil 8 marketed as treatment for HIV/AIDS and skin cancer, respectively); ForMor, Inc., No. C-4021 (Aug. 8, 2001) (consent order) (St. John's Wort marketed as treatment for HIV/AIDS; colloidal silver and shark cartilage marketed as treatments for cancer, arthritis, and other diseases); MaxCell Bioscience, Inc., No. C-4017 (Aug. 8, 2001) (consent order) (multi-ingredient product containing DHEA marketed to reverse aging and prevent age-related diseases); Michael Forrest d/b/a Jaguar Enterprises of Santa Ana, No. C-4020 (Aug. 8, 2001) (consent order) (miracle herbs and black box, magnetic pulser, and Beck-Rife units marketed as treatments for cancer and arthritis); Robert C. Spencer d/b/a Aaron Company, No. C-4019 (Aug. 8, 2001) (consent order) (colloidal silver marketed as treatment for cancer and many other diseases); FTC v. Western Dietary Products Co. (Skookum), No. C01-0818R (W.D. Wash., filed June 6, 2001) (herbal cure packages and "zappers" marketed as treatments for cancer); FTC v. Western Botanicals, Inc., No. S-01-1332 DFL GGH (E.D. Cal., July 25, 2001) (Stipulated Permanent Injunction) (comfrey products); FTC v. Christopher Enterprises, Inc., 2:01CV-0505 ST (C.D. Utah, stipulated preliminary injunction entered July 6, 2001) (comfrey products).
12. In 2001, the Commission has brought 14 cases challenging advertising claims made for dietary supplements. During the period from 1998 through 2000, the Commission brought 46 such cases
13. Nutrition Business Journal, Volume IV, No.6 "Industry Overview 1999" at 3.
14. Commissioners Anthony and Thompson continue to support legislation as recommended by the Commission last year. See Statement of Commissioner Sheila Anthony on the Commission’s Privacy Agenda (Oct. 4, 2001); Privacy Online: Fair Information Practices in the Electronic Marketplace: A Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress (May 2000) (Commissioner Orson Swindle, Dissenting, and Commissioner Thomas B. Leary, Concurring in Part and Dissenting in Part).
15. See, e.g., Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. (prohibiting deceptive or unfair acts or practices, including violations of stated privacy policies); Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (addressing the accuracy, dissemination, and integrity of consumer reports); Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6101 et seq. (including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 310) (prohibiting telemarketers from calling at odd hours, engaging in harassing patterns of calls, and failing to disclose the identity of the seller and purpose of the call); Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq. (prohibiting the collection of personally identifiable information from young children without their parents’ consent); Identify Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, 18 U.S.C. §1028 (directing the FTC to collect identity theft complaints, refer them to the appropriate credit bureaus and law enforcement agencies, and provide victim assistance); Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6081 et seq. (requiring financial institutions to provide notices to consumers and allowing consumers (with some exceptions) to choose whether their financial institutions may share their information with third parties).
16. See Remarks of Chairman Timothy J. Muris, "Protecting Consumers’ Privacy: 2002 and Beyond," The Privacy 2001 Conference, Cleveland, Ohio (Oct. 4, 2001).
17. Some examples of recent "pretexting" cases brought by the Commission include: FTC v. Information Search, Inc. and David Kacala, No. AMD-01-1121 (D. Md. preliminary injunction entered May 4, 2001); FTC v. Victor L. Guzzetta d/b/a Smart Data Systems, No. CV-01-2335 (E.D.N.Y. preliminary injunction entered Apr.19, 2001); FTC v. Paula L. Garrett d/b/a Discreet Data Systems, No. H 01-1255 (S.D. Tex. preliminary injunction entered May 1, 2001).
18. The European Commission's Directive on Data Protection became effective in October 1998, and prohibits the transfer of personal data to non-European Union nations that do not meet the European "adequacy" standard for privacy protection. To bridge different privacy approaches between the U.S. and the EU, and to provide a streamlined means for U.S. organizations to comply with the Directive, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in consultation with the European Commission, developed a "Safe Harbor" framework, which was approved by the EU in July 2000. Companies that self-certify to the Department of Commerce that they comply with the Safe Harbor Principles may be deemed by the EU to provide "adequate" privacy protection under the EU Directive. The FTC will give priority to referrals of non-compliance with safe harbor principles from EU Member States. See Department of Commerce's Safe Harbor Website, www.export.gov/safeharbor.
19. See Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, 15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq. The Commission has brought several actions to enforce COPPA and its implementing Rule. See, e.g. United States v. Lisa Frank, Inc., No. 01-1516-A (E.D. Va. filed Oct. 1, 2001) ($30,000 civil penalty).
20. See Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.
21. Deceptive spamming is a prime example of high-tech fraud, discussed earlier.
22. See Telemarketing Sales Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 310.
23. Recently, the Commission approved a federal district court settlement against Ira Smolev, Triad Discount Buying Services, Inc., and other defendants to resolve charges that they deceptively telemarketed buying clubs using negative option free trial offers and pre-acquired account information. The proposed order prohibits the defendants from obtaining account information from third parties, unless the third parties disclose to account-holders that they will transfer the account information and the account-holders agree to the transfer. The order also prohibits the defendants from transferring credit card information and personal identifiers to others, except as needed to process consumer-authorized transactions. See In re Premier Membership Services LLC, Case No. 00-35053-BKC-SHF (Bankr. S.D. Fla.).
24 .The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801(b) and 6805(b), requires the FTC to issue a rule establishing appropriate standards for safeguards to ensure the security, confidentiality and integrity of customer records and information.
25. See Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, 18 U.S.C. § 1028. This Act makes the FTC a central clearinghouse for identity theft complaints. Under the Act, the FTC is required to log and acknowledge such complaints, provide victims with relevant information, and refer their complaints to appropriate entities (e.g., the major consumer reporting agencies and other law enforcement agencies).
26. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6801 et seq., requires financial institutions to provide notices to consumers and (with certain exceptions) allows consumers to choose whether their financial institutions may share their information with third parties. The FTC will undertake enforcement efforts to ensure that financial institutions comply with the law and will work to increase consumer awareness of the notices.
27. Exxon Corp. and Mobil Corp., No. C-3907 (January 26, 2001) (consent order).
28. BP Amoco p.l.c. and Atlantic Richfield Co., No. C-3938 (Aug. 29, 2000) (consent order).
29. Chevron Corporation/Texaco, No. C-4023 (consent agreement accepted for public comment Sept. 7, 2001).
30. Staff Report, Competition and Consumer Protection Perspectives on Electric Power Regulatory Reform: Focus on Retail Competition. This report was prepared in response to a request from Chairman Tauzin of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Chairman Barton of that Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.
31. See., e.g., FTC v. Oil-Chem Research Corp. & Speedway Motorsports, Inc., No. 1:01 CV 00126 (M.D.N.C. filed Jan. 31, 2001) (challenging representations that vehicles using the zMax "Power System" will experience at least a 10 percent gas mileage improvement and reduced engine wear); United States v. Intermatic Inc., No. 00C50178 (N.D. Ill. May 31, 2000) (consent decree) ($250,000 civil penalty in settlement of allegations that the company violated a 1979 FTC order by making unsubstantiated energy savings claims about an electric water heater timer); Dura Lube Corp., No. 9292 (May 3, 2000) (consent order) (resolving allegations that respondents deceptively represented that their engine treatment product reduces emissions and improves gas mileage by up to 35 percent; order prohibits future deceptive claims and requires payment of $2 million in consumer redress).
32. In the last five fiscal years, the FTC has reviewed over 17,000 HSR filings, opened 1,078 merger investigations, issued 190 second requests, and required modification to, or otherwise challenged, 147 mergers and acquisitions.
33. See Remarks of Chairman Timothy J. Muris, "Antitrust Enforcement at the Federal Trade Commission: In a Word – Continuity," before the ABA Antitrust Section Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (Aug. 7, 2001).
34. U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, Horizontal Merger Guidelines (1992, revised 1997), reprinted in 4 Trade Reg. Rep. (CCH) ¶¶ 13,104 (1997), available at <http://www.ftc.gov/bc/docs/horizmer.htm>
35. 15 U.S.C. §18a, as amended, Pub. L. No 106-553; 114 Stat. 2762 (Dec. 21, 2000), effective February 1, 2001.
36. MSC.Software Corp., No. 9299 (complaint filed Oct. 10, 2001). The complaint filed this month challenges two acquisitions made by a dominant supplier of a popular type of advanced computer-aided engineering software. The complaint alleges that the defendant acquired its only two competitors in transactions that fell below HSR notification thresholds.