The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. Unless otherwise noted, the FTC staff contact is Dan Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Commission action regarding a petition to reopen or modify an order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on a petition from the following:
- The FTC has granted the petition of McCormick & Company, Inc., of Sparks, Maryland, to modify a 1993 consent order, thereby ending McCormick’s obligation to obtain FTC approval before acquiring any interest in, or assets of, a company that sells a specified level of dehydrated-onion products. The consent order stemmed from McCormick’s acquisition of Haas Foods, Inc, which the FTC had alleged would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. dehydrated onion business (see Oct. 26, 1993 release regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3468; Commission vote 5-0 on Feb. 26, 1996).
Commission action regarding an application for prior approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on an application from the following entity for prior approval of a transaction:
- The FTC has granted the application of Thrifty PayLess, Inc. and Green Equity Investors, L.P., of Los Angeles, California, to divest the pharmacy business of the Bi-Mart store at 608 East Mountain View in Ellensburg, Washington, to Fred McGinnis. The divestiture was one of six required under a 1994 FTC consent order, which settled charges over the merger of the Thrifty and PayLess drug store chains and was designed to restore competition for prescription drugs sold in retail outlets in six areas in California, Oregon and Washington (see Aug. 19, 1994 news release regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3519; Commission vote 5-0 on Feb. 26, 1996).
Consent orders given final approval: Following public comment periods, the Commission has determined to issue final consent orders against the following entities. The Commission’s action makes the consent orders binding on the respondents.
- WLAR Co., of Falls Church, Virginia, and its owner, Michael K. Craig, regarding the alleged deceptive advertising of five weight-loss and body-shaping booklets in magazine ads directed at teen-aged girls. The booklets at issue were titled Swedish 19, Swedish System, BM Program, New Shape and Body Maker. The order prohibits specific false or unsubstantiated weight-loss related claims for any weight-loss product, and requires the respondents to disclose in future ads for these booklets that the “product” being advertised consists solely of booklets or pamphlets (see June 1, 1995 news release on the consent agreement, Docket No. C-3641; Commission vote 4-0, Chairman Pitofsky recused, on Feb. 21, 1996; staff contact is Joel Winston, 202-326-3153).
- Good News Products, Inc., of Hamilton, Michigan, regarding allegedly false representations that its eggs were significantly lower in fat than ordinary eggs, that they would increase blood cholesterol levels less than ordinary eggs, and that the omega-3 fatty acids in the eggs would have a positive effect on risk factors for heart disease. The order prohibits misrepresentations regarding the nutrient content of eggs or products containing egg yolks, and requires scientific substantiation for health claims about such products (see June 7, 1996 news release regarding the consent agreement; Docket No. C-3642; Commission vote 5-0 on Feb. 22, 1996; staff contact is Phoebe Morse, 617-424-5960).
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, same address as above; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. 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