The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. The FTC staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861.
Applications for prior approval of transactions: The FTC has received an application for prior approval of a divestiture from the following. The application will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until Oct. 24.
- Ahold USA, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, and its parent company, Koninklijke Ahold NV, based in The Netherlands, have applied for FTC approval to divest six supermarkets in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts to SUPERVALU, Inc., which operates several large supermarket chains including Bigg’s, Cub Foods, Country Market, and Shop ?n Save. After divestiture, the stores would be operated by Ro-Jack’s, a supermarket chain based in Mansfield, Massachusetts. The Rhode Island supermarkets to be divested are the Edwards stores located at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence, 295 Armistice Boulevard in Pawtucket, 1810 Plainfield Pike in Cranston, 1401 Bald Hill Road in Warwick, 1000 Division Street in East Greenwich, and 418 Kingstown Road in Wakefield. The seventh store is a Stop & Shop located at Route 6 and 1 Commercial Way in Seekonk. These divestitures are among 30 required under a proposed FTC consent agreement settling charges that Ahold’s acquisition of The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., violated antitrust laws by substantially lessening supermarket competition in 14 communities. The divestitures are designed to restore competition in those communities. The consent agreement, which is awaiting final approval at the Commission following a public comment period that closed yesterday, originally contemplated Star Markets Company, Inc., as the buyer for these seven stores. (See July 15, 1996 news release for more details regarding the consent agreement; FTC File No. 961 0052).
Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following. The Commission action makes the order binding on the respondent. The FTC staff contact is Leslie Fair, 202-236-3081.
- The FTC has accepted as final a consent agreement with Zygon, International, Inc., of Redmond, Washington, settling charges that advertising for its "Learning Machine" and other products was deceptive. Zygon agreed to pay up to $195,000 in refunds as part of the settlement to resolve charges that it made a number of unsubstantiated claims and failed to honor its "money back guarantee" policy for its products. The settlement requires that Zygon and its owner, Dane Spotts, have competent and reliable substantiation for any claims about the performance, benefits, efficacy or safety of any product or service they market. In addition, it requires that if they advertise any refund policy they must honor it by giving consumers refunds within the time frame they specify or, if no time is specified, within 30 days. (see April 4, 1996 news release for further information about this consent order; FTC Docket No. C 3686; Commission vote on Sept. 24 was 5-0.)
Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 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 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.