Adobe Systems Incorporated has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to reopen and modify an October 1994 consent order to end the company's obligation to obtain FTC approval before acquiring an interest in a firm that develops or sells professional-illustration software for the Macintosh or Power Macintosh. Adobe filed the petition in accordance with a relatively new FTC policy under which the agency no longer routinely includes prior-approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases, and presumes the public interest requires reopening such provisions in existing merger orders and making them consistent with the policy.
The petition will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until Jan. 4, 1996.
Adobe is based in Mountain View, California. The consent order at issue settled FTC charges that the merger of Adobe and Aldus Corporation, which at the time were the only two competitors in the $60 million worldwide market for professional-illustration software, would have violated federal antitrust laws and lead to higher prices and reduced innovation. The order permitted the acquisition, but remedied the competitive situation by requiring the merged firm to divest the"FreeHand" professional-illustration software owned by Aldus to a third firm, Altsys Corporation, which originally developed the software. In addition, the order includes the prior-approval requirement from which Adobe is now petitioning for relief.
Comments on the petition should be sent to FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the petition and the consent order 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 202-326- 2502. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC 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 No. 3536)