The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. The staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on applications for approval of divestitures from the following:
- The FTC has approved the application of Lockheed Martin Corporation, of Bethesda, Maryland, to divest to Washington Consulting Group, Inc., also of Bethesda, Lockheed’s SETA Services Operations. Divesture of SETA Services was required under a September 1996 consent order designed to restore competition in numerous markets, following Lockheed’s acquisition of Loral Corporation. One of the markets at issue was the research, development, manufacture, and sale of air traffic control systems, which the settlement addressed by requiring that Lockheed divest its systems engineering and technical services (SETA) contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to a Commission-approved acquirer. (See April 18, 1996 news release for more details regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3685; Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.)
- The FTC has approved the application of Schwegmann Giant Super Markets, Inc., of New Orleans, Louisiana, to divest the Canal Villere supermarket located at 2125 Caton Street in New Orleans to William Curtis Smith, a resident of Slidell who has been a manager in the supermarket business. He plans to operate the store under the SuperValu trade name. This is one of seven divestitures required under a June 1995 consent order designed to restore competition allegedly injured when Schwegmann acquired the New Orleans supermarkets formerly owned by National Holdings, Inc. from Schnuck Markets, Inc. It is the third divestiture application to receive Commission approval; three others currently are pending. (See June 5, 1995 news release for more details regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3584; Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.)
Commission action regarding petitions to reopen and modify FTC orders: Following a comment period, the FTC has ruled on a petition from the following:
- The FTC has approved the petition of John E. Sailer, M.D., of Lafayette, California, to reopen and modify a 1994 consent order so as to relieve him of all obligations under the order. Sailer was a respondent along with 10 other physicians and their joint venture, Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment Company, of San Leandro, California, in an FTC antitrust case. The FTC alleged in the case (which was a companion to another case challenging a second joint venture on the same grounds) that the venture, because it included such a high percentage (60 percent) of the pulmonologists in the area, allowed the specialists to gain market power over an ancillary service (the provision of oxygen to patients in their homes) and created a barrier against others who might offer that service, thereby reducing competition and risking higher consumer prices. Sailer now is retired. (See Sept. 22, 1994 news release for more details regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3530; Commission vote to grant the petition was 5-0. Commissioner Roscoe B. Starek, III, issued a concurring statement in which he said he "would have preferred to view Dr. Sailer’s petition as an occasion for reexamining [the orders in the cases] and, ideally, for determining that they should be vacated." Starek also said, given that Sailer’s retirement is a change of fact, there is no reason for the Commission’s order to include language setting forth the separate "public interest" standard for reopening and modifying orders.)
Copies of the documents referenced above 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 news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases, related documents and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov