The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a consent agreement with the Korean Video Stores Association of Maryland and its 16 individual members, settling charges that individual members of the association met in August of 1993 and agreed to raise and fix the rental fees for Korean- language video tapes charged by members' stores throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The FTC's complaint charges that the conduct restricted competition in the Korean language video tape rental business in the D.C. area. The Commission's action makes the consent order provisions binding on the respondents.
The final order prohibits the Association or any of its members, from entering into any agreement to fix, raise, or maintain the prices charged for retail video tape rentals. The agreement also prohibits the respondents from recommending or encouraging any person to charge certain prices or set other terms and conditions for video tape rentals, prohibits advising against any form of price competition in the retail video tape rental business, and requires the respondents to either discontinue or leave any meeting among themselves if anyone makes impermissible statements concerning rental fees. Further, the settlement prohibits the Association from inviting or coordinating a forum to discuss prices concerning retail video tape rentals.
In addition, within 30 days after the settlement becomes final, each of the Association's members are required to prepare and display in their stores a corrective poster -- in both English and Korean -- detailing the terms and conditions of the settlement with the FTC. Finally, the settlement requires the Association to publish the entire text of the corrective poster in Washington, D.C. area editions of three Korean-language newspapers.
The consent agreement was announced for a public-comment period on March 28. The Commission vote to issue it in final form occurred on June 20, and was 5-0.
NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. 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 agreement was issued at the time the Commission accepted the consent agreement for public comment. Copies of that release and of the complaint and final order are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(Docket No. C-3588)
(FTC File No. 931 0134)