The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a consent agreement with Reckitt & Colman PLC, settling charges stemming from Reckitt's acquisition of L&F Products, Inc. The Commission's action makes the consent order provisions binding on Reckitt.
Reckitt is based in London, and does business in the United States through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Reckitt & Colman Inc., of Wayne New Jersey. L&F, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company, is based in Montvale, New Jersey.
The consent order resolves FTC allegations that the L&F acquisition would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. market for carpet-deodorizer products. Under the order, Reckitt is required to divest its carpet-deodorizer assets to a Commission-approved buyer within six months.
Under a 1990 consent order stemming from Reckitt's acquisi- tion of the Boyle-Midway Division of American Home Products Cor- poration, Reckitt is required to obtain Comission approval for 10 years before acquiring any rug-cleaning products business. The consent order now finalized by the Commission permits Reckitt to acquire L&F as long as it sells its own rug-cleaning business to a buyer pre-approved by the FTC. Reckitt already has complied with the divestiture provision, gaining Commission approval in February to divest the assets to Playtex Products, Inc.
The new consent order also requires Reckitt to obtain FTC approval, for 10 years, before acquiring any interest in the carpet-deodorizer business in the United States.
The consent agreement was announced for a public-comment period on Dec. 23, 1994. The Commission vote to issue it in final and binding form occurred on April 4, and was 4-0.
NOTE: A consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute admission of a law violation. When the Commission
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Reckitt & Colman--04/06/95)
issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions by the respondents. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000.
A news release summarizing the complaint and consent agree- ment was issued at the time the Commission accepted the consent agreement for public comment. Copies of that release, the complaint and final order, and other documents and news releases associated with this case are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
(FTC File No. 951 0013)
(Docket No. C-3566)