Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following public comment periods, the Commission has ruled on the following applications for approval of divestitures:
- The FTC has approved the application of Ahold USA, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, and its parent company, Koninklijke Ahold NV, based in The Netherlands, to divest six supermarkets in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts to SuperValu, Inc., which is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, which then will sell the stores to Ro-Jack’s Food Stores, Inc., a supermarket chain based in Manfield, Massachusetts. The Rhode Island stores being 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 Massachusetts store is a Stop & Shop located at Route 6 and 1 Commercial Way in Seekonk. These divestitures are among 30 required under a September 1996 FTC consent order 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. At the same time it approved the divestitures, the Commission also denied a request to extend the public comment period on the divestiture application; the Commission already had extended the original 30-day comment period by two weeks. (See July 15, 1996 news release for more details regarding the consent order; Docket No. C-3687; Commission vote to approve the divestitures and deny the request for an extended comment period was 5-0, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga issuing a statement saying, "Since it is now January 3, 1997, I see no reason why the Commission could not have entertained supplemental comments filed on or before November 27, 1996, and I dissent from the denial of the request to extend the time.") Staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861.
- The FTC has approved the application of a trustee for Rite Aid Corporation, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, to divest a drug store in Berlin, New Hampshire, to Maxi Drug, Inc., a subsidiary of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA Inc. based in Warwick, Rhode Island. Divestiture of the Berlin store and two others was required under a December 1994 consent order settling charges that Rite Aid’s acquisition of LaVerdiere Enterprises, Inc. could substantially lessen competition for prescription drugs sold in retail outlets in three cities, including Berlin. The purpose of the divestitures is to restore competition. (See Sept. 2, 1994 news release for more details about the consent order; Docket No. C-3546; Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.) Staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526.
Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following entity. The Commission action makes the consent order binding on the respondent.
- The consent order with Wesley-Jessen Corporation, of Des Plaines, Illinois, settles charges that its acquisition of Pilkington Barnes Hind International, Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, would result in a near monopoly in the market for opaque contact lenses -- that is, corrective or solely-cosmetic lenses that change the appearance of the eye color of the wearer. The order requires Wesley-Jessen to divest the Pilkington Barnes Hind opaque lens business, which makes the Natural Touch line of opaque lenses, to a Commission-approved acquirer by Jan. 24, 1997 (four months after Wesley-Jessen signed the consent order), and supply the acquirer with Pilkington Barnes Hind lenses while the acquirer obtains Food and Drug Administration approval to market its own lenses. The order also bars Wesley-Jessen, for 10 years, from acquiring any opaque contact lens maker in the United States without notifying the Commission in advance. (See Sept. 30, 1996 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3700; Commission vote to issue the order as final and binding was 5-0.) Staff contact is Ann Malester, 202- 326-2682.
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., 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