Applications for approval of transactions: The FTC has received applications for approval of transactions from the following entities. The FTC is seeking public comments on the applications for 30 days, until November 30, 1998.
- LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc., formerly known as Lawyers Title Corporation (LTC) has submitted two divestiture applications to the FTC. The divestitures are required under a consent order with the FTC that settles charges that the company's acquisition of the title insurance operations of Reliance Group Holdings, Inc., including Reliance Group's indirect subsidiaries Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company and Transnation Title Insurance Company, would reduce competition in local markets for title plant services in 11 localities in three states, and the District of Columbia. The applications involve the divestiture of the title plant in Broward County, Florida, to First American Real Estate Solutions, LLC of Anaheim, California, and the sale of the title plant in St. Louis City and County, Missouri, to Old Republic National Title Insurance Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Comments on these applications should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. (See news releases dated September 4, 1998; June 5, 1998; May 27, 1998; February 24, 1998; Docket No. C-3808. Staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526.)
- Federal-Mogul has submitted an application to divest the thinwall bearings assets it acquired in its purchase of T&N, plc to Dana Corp. The divestiture is required under the terms of a consent order that settles FTC charges that the merger of Federal-Mogul and T&N, the two leading producers in the world in four different thinwall bearings markets, would violate antitrust laws. Comments on these applications should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. (See news release dated March 6, 1998; FTC File No. 981 0011. Staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861.)
Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on an application for approval of a transaction from the following:
- The FTC has approved the application of Ben C. Burkett, II, the trustee appointed by the Commission to accomplish the divestiture mandated by the final order against Softsearch Holdings, Inc. of Abilene, Texas, and Geoquest International Holdings, Inc. of Houston, Texas, to divest Specified Data to PennWell Publishing Corporation, which was 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. The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 4-0. (See news releases dated May 29, 1998; August 1, 1997; December 5, 1996 ; Docket No. C-3759. Staff contact is Daniel P. 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.
- A final order against Fair Allocation System, Inc. will prohibit this association of 25 automobile dealerships in five Northwest states from boycotting or threatening to boycott automobile manufacturers or consumers. The order settles charges that the dealers had collectively threatened to boycott Chrysler Corporation and Chrysler owners seeking warranty service unless Chrysler modified its distribution system. In particular, the dealers sought restrictions on the number of vehicles available to competing dealers offering low prices and marketing on the Internet. The Commission vote to make the order final was 4-0. (See news release dated August 5, 1998; FTC File No. 971 0065; Staff contact is Charles A. Harwood, 206-220-4480.)
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-3128; 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.