Analysis of Proposed Consent Order
The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement to a proposed consent order from respondent Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for sixty (60) days for reception of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After sixty (60) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take other appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.
This matter concerns practices related to the sale of textile and wool products by means of an on-line Internet catalog. The Commission's complaint charges that respondent violated the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq., the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, 15 U.S.C. § 70 et seq., and the Wool Products Labeling Act, 15 U.S.C. § 68 et seq., by failing to disclose in its on-line catalog whether products offered for sale were made in the U.S.A., imported, or both.
Part I of the proposed consent order prohibits respondent from advertising any textile or wool product in any mail order catalog or mail order promotional material, including those disseminated on the Internet, without disclosing clearly and conspicuously that the product was made in the U.S.A., imported, or both.
Part II of the proposed order requires the respondent, for five years after the date of issuance of the Order, to maintain records demonstrating compliance with the Order, including: (a) copies of mail order catalogs and mail order promotional materials, as defined in 16 C.F.R. §§ 303.1(u) and 300.1(h), that offer textile and/or wool products for direct sale to consumers; and (b) complaints and other communications with consumers, government agencies, or consumer protection organizations, pertaining to country-of-origin disclosures for textile and/or wool products.
Part III of the proposed order requires the respondent to distribute copies of the order to certain company officials and employees. Part IV of the proposed order requires the respondent to notify the Commission of any change in the corporation that may affect compliance obligations under the order. Part V of the proposed order requires the respondent to file one or more compliance reports. Part VI of the proposed order is a provision whereby the order, absent certain circumstances, terminates twenty years from the date of issuance.
The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed consent order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.