The Federal Trade Commission has ended the obligation of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. to obtain Commission approval, until 2003, before acquiring any interest in air freshener or furniture care products manufactured or distributed in the United States. The prior-approval provision, which had a 10-year term, was included in a 1993 consent order resolving FTC allegations that Johnson's $1.5 billion acquisition of certain assets of the Drackett Company -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company -- violated antitrust laws. The Commission concluded that deleting the prior-approval provision would end all of Johnson's future obligations under the order. Therefore, the Commission set aside the order in its entirety.
S.C. Johnson, a major U.S. manufacturer of home-care products, is based in Racine, Wisconsin. Johnson petitioned the FTC on Sept. 28 to reopen and modify the 1993 order, under the Commission's new prior-approval policy. Under this policy, the Commission no longer routinely includes prior-approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases, and presumes the public interest requires reopening such provisions in outstanding merger orders to make them consistent with the policy. The Commission sought public comments on the petition for 30 days, and received none.
The vote to reopen and modify the order was 5-0.
Copies of the Commission's order, as well as other documents 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; 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 No. C-3418)