The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions. The FTC staff contact is Dan Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Application for prior approval of transaction: The FTC has received applications for prior approval of transactions from the following. The applications will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until December 23.
- Red Apple Companies, Inc., Sloan’s Supermarkets, Inc., (a/k/a/ Designcraft Industries, Inc.), and John Catsimatidis, the Chairman of Red Apple and Sloan’s have applied for approval to divest two supermarkets: a store at 2407 Broadway and a store at 1245 Park Avenue, both in New York, N.Y., to White Rose Food, an independent wholesale food distributor in the New York City metropolitan area. White Rose will sell the Park Avenue supermarket to Juan Diaz, operating as Park Avenue Meat & Grocery, but will hold a collateral assignment of the lease. It will sell the Broadway store to Edilio Flores, doing business as EDF, Inc. Divestiture of the supermarkets is required under a 1995 order settling charges that Red Apple’s acquisition of Sloan’s Supermarkets could substantially lessen supermarket competition in four Manhattan markets in violation of federal antitrust laws. The divestiture is intended to restore supermarket competition in the upper West Side and East Side of Manhattan markets. (See Dec. 13, 1994 news release for more details regarding the order; Docket No. 9266)
- Rite Aid Corporation has applied for FTC approval to divest a drug store in Berlin, New Hampshire to Maxi Drug, Inc. Divestiture of the store is required under a 1994 order settling charges that Rite Aid’s acquisition of LaVerdiere Enterprises, Inc. could substantially lessen competition in prescription drugs in Lincoln, Maine and Berlin, New Hampshire. Sale of the store will "remedy the lessening of competition resulting from the acquisition of LaVerdieres" the petition states. (See Dec. 19, 1994 news release for more details regarding the order; Docket No. 3546)
Applications for approval of transactions: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on the following applications:
- The FTC has approved the application of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, and its U.S. subsidiary, Saint-Gobain/Norton Industrial Ceramics Corporation, of Worcester, Massachusetts, to reopen and modify a consent order settling charges that its acquisition of the Carborundum Company violated antitrust laws. To restore competition in the market for products used in industrial furnaces and home appliances, the order required that Saint-Gobain divest Carborundum’s New York-based Monofrax fused cast refractories business, Puerto Rico-based hot surface igniter business and New Jersey- based silicon carbide refractories business and to hold them separate pending divestiture. The order specified that boards of directors or management committees for each of the three businesses include "at least two Carborundum officers." The modified order would allow knowledgeable managers as well as officers of Carborundum to serve on the boards or management committees of the separately held businesses. (see Feb. 26, 1996 news release for more details regarding this transaction; FTC File No. 3673; Commission vote to approve the application was 5-0).
- The FTC has denied an application from Hoechst AG, to extend the time within which to divest mesalamine, a developmental drug used to treat inflammatory bowel disease. Divestiture was required under a Dec. 1995 consent order which settled charges that Hoechst’s $7.1 billion merger with Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., which created the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company, would violate federal antitrust laws by substantially reducing competition for four drugs, including mesalamine. The order required that the divestiture be completed within nine months. The Commission vote to deny the application was 5-0. (See Dec. 6, 1995 news release for more details about this transaction; FTC Docket No. 3629)
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.
- Georgetown Publishing House Limited Partnership, Inc. of Washington, D.C. settling charges that they used deceptive advertising tactics to promote the sale of a book titled, The American Speaker: Your Guide to Successful Speaking. The FTC alleged that the respondents misled consumers by sending them what appeared to be an independent book review torn from a magazine. Attached to the "review" was a self-adhesive yellow note with a handwritten personalized message that appeared to have been sent by an acquaintance. The FTC alleged that the clipping was not a review, but an ad, prepared and sent by the respondents to promote their book. The settlement would prohibit the respondents from misrepresenting that an ad is an independent review or article, or that it is not a paid advertisement. In addition, the order prohibits the respondents from misrepresenting that a product has been independently reviewed or evaluated. (Commission vote to accept the consent agreement was 5-0. See Feb. 28,1996 news release for further details on this matter; FTC File No. 952 3388; staff contact Lesley A. Fair, 202-326-3081)
Copies of the letters responding to the petitions and other 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 and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov