Announced Actions for May 29, 1998

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Applications for approval of transactions: The FTC has received applications for approval of a transaction from the following entity. The FTC is seeking public comments on the applications for 30 days, until June 30, 1998.

  • Ben C. Burkett, II, the trustee appointed by the Commission to accomplish the divestiture mandated by a final order against Softsearch Holdings, Inc., of Abilene, Texas, and Geoquest International Holdings, Inc., of Houston, Texas, has submitted applications to the FTC from PennWell Publishing Co., Petris Technology, Inc., QC Data Inc., and The WhiteStar Corporation, each seeking to license certain oil well data from Dwight's EnergyData. The final order settled charges in connection with the merger of Dwight's EnergyData (a subsidiary of Softsearch based in Richardson, Texas) and its principal competitor, Petroleum Information Corporation (a subsidiary of Geoquest based in Houston). In its 1997 complaint, the FTC alleged that the merger would create a monopoly for U.S. gas and oil production and well history data, in violation of federal antitrust laws. The order was designed to restore competition by requiring Dwight's to license a set of complete well history and production data to a Commission-approved buyer, which then will be an independent competitor. (See news releases dated December 5, 1996; August 1, 1997; Docket No. C-3759.) Staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526.

Comments on the applications should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the applications referenced above are available from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, at the same address; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); 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:

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