Part III Administrative Complaint
The Commission issued an administrative complaint against Warner Communications, Inc., and several subsidiaries of Vivendi Universal S.A., charging them with illegally agreeing to fix prices for audio and video products featuring The Three Tenors. A settlement with Warner barred future agreements to fix prices or restrict advertising. After an administrative trial against Vivendi, an ALJ found that the agreement, while made in association with an otherwise legal joint venture between the companies, violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by illegally reducing competition in the U.S. market for the audio and video products cited. The Commission upheld the ruling of an administrative law judge and prohibited PolyGram from entering into any agreement with competitors to fix the prices or restrict the advertising of products they have produced independently. In July 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the Commission’s decision in Polygram Holding Inc., validating the Commission’s approach to analyzing horizontal conduct among competitors.