The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. The FTC staff contact is Dan Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Commission action regarding applications for prior approval: Following a public comment period, the FTC has ruled on applications from the following:
- The Commission has denied the petition of The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., of Quincy, Massachusetts, to divest its supermarket in Watertown, Massachusetts, to Star Markets Company, Inc., of Boston, Massachusetts. The divestiture was one of 17 required under a 1995 proposed consent order designed to restore supermarket competition in five areas of Massachusetts that allegedly was injured when Stop & Shop acquired Purity Supreme, Inc. The vote to deny the petition was 4-1, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga dissenting. ( See Nov. 1, 1995 news release regarding the proposed consent order, Docket No. C-3649).
- The Commission approved the petition of The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., of Quincy, Massachusetts, to divest seven supermarkets on Cape Cod to Star Markets Company, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The stores to be divested are located in Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis (two stores), Yarmouth, Harwich and Orleans. The divestitures were required under a 1995 consent order settling FTC charges that the Stop & Shop merger with Purity Supreme, Inc., would reduce supermarket competition in five areas of Massachusetts, including Cape Cod. The vote to approve the petition was 5-0. (See Nov. 1, 1995 news release for more detail regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3649).
Commission action regarding petitions to reopen and modify FTC orders: Following a public comment period, the FTC has ruled on the following petition:
- At the request of Alleghany Corporation, the FTC has modified, in part, two consent orders. The FTC has ended the obligation of Alleghany to obtain prior Commission approval before acquiring certain title-insurance related assets. Alleghany had also sought to have provisions requiring prior notice of certain acquisitions eliminated from the orders. The Commission will not require prior notification of acquisitions of copies of title records, but will retain the requirement for acquisitions of original title records. (See Nov. 30, 1995 news release for more details regarding the consent orders; Docket Nos. C-3218, C-3335.) The Commission vote to modify the orders was 5-0, with Commissioner Roscoe B. Starek, III, issuing a separate statement concurring in the result only. In his statement, Commissioner Starek said, “I do not believe that it was necessary to rely on the public interest element of [Commission] Rule 2.51. Rather, the Policy Statement by itself furnishes sufficient grounds on which to decide Alleghany’s petition...Because the Policy Statement criteria are entirely adequate for the treatment of Alleghany’s petition, the reference in today’s order to public interest factors is surplusage, likely to create confusion.” Starek offered an alternate version of a Commission order which reflected his views of the appropriate disposition of the petition under the Policy Statement’s criteria.
Copies of the letters responding to the petitions are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the same address; 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