Announced Actions for April 21, 1998

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Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final consent agreements with the following entities. The Commission action makes the consent orders binding on the respondents.

  • A consent order related to the merger of Guinness PLC and Grand Metropolitan PLC into a new company, Diageo plc, was made final by the Commission. Under the terms of the order, the companies, which are competitors in the premium Scotch and in the premium gin markets, would sell three of their top-selling premium brands of liquor, including their Dewar's Scotch, Bombay Original gin and Bombay Sapphire gin brands. The divestiture would settle FTC charges that the merger would eliminate substantial competition between the two companies and increase concentration in already highly concentrated markets, resulting in higher prices to consumers. The consent order requires that the brands be divested to a Commission-approved buyer by June 8, 1998. The Commission vote to make the consent order final was 5-0, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga dissenting in part and concurring in part. (See news release dated December 15, 1997; Docket No. C-3801. Staff contact is Joseph S. Brownman, 202-326-2605.)
  • A consent order with S.C. Johnson requires the Racine, Wisconsin-based company to divest a portion of the assets it acquired when it purchased DowBrands. The divestiture will settle FTC charges that S.C. Johnson's purchase would adversely affect competition and potentially raise the prices U.S. consumers pay for soil and stain removers and glass cleaners. Specifically, under the terms of the order, S.C. Johnson will sell all assets related to Dow's "Spray 'n Wash," "Spray 'n Starch" and "Glass Plus" businesses to Reckitt & Colman, Inc., the U.S. wholly-owned subsidiary of the British company, Reckitt & Colman plc. The Commission vote to make the order final was 4-0, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga not participating. (See news release dated January 23, 1998; Docket No. C-3802. Staff contact is Steven K. Bernstein, 202-326-2423.)

Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's web site at and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD 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.

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