The Federal Trade Commission has terminated two consent orders against the Rubber Manufacturers Association, Inc. The orders -- one entered in 1948 and one entered in 1962 -- followed charges that the Association and numerous members engaged in price-fixing. The Commission terminated the orders in accordance with its "sunsetting" policy, under which the Commission presumes that the public interest requires terminating competition orders more than 20 years old.
The orders prohibited the Association from, among other things, formulating or enforcing resale price agreements, exchanging price information or entering into price-fixing agreements.
In April, the Association petitioned the Commission to terminate the orders. The Commission vote to terminate them was 5-0, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga issuing a concurring statement.
In her statement, Commissioner Azcuenaga said that although she concurs in the decision to grant the request to set aside the orders against RMAI, she dissents from the decision to limit the setting aside of the order to the association, instead of setting aside the order in its entirety. According to Azcuenaga, the decision to grant the relief to RMAI and deny it to the other respondents appears to be inconsistent with the Commission's announced Sunset Policy where it is presumed "that the public interest requires reopening and setting aside the order in its entirety...when a petition to reopen and modify a competition order is filed" and the order is more than 20 years old. The "burden on public and private resources" is increased "by applying the presumption in favor of sunset not only on a case- by-case basis but on a respondent-by-respondent basis," Azcuenaga concluded.
Copies of petition and the consent orders are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. 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
(FTC Docket Nos. 5448, 7505)