Announced Actions for December 23, 1998 [B]

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions.

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 Commission has voted to approve Supervalu's application to divest two stores in Casper, Wyoming, to Tidyman's LLC. The Commission vote to approve the application was 4-0. (See news releases dated November 20, 1998September 22, 1998; FTC File No. 981-0134; 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.

  • The Commission has voted to make final a consent order with General Electric Capital Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Montgomery Ward Credit Corporation, that will ensure GE Capital makes full refunds totaling at least $60 million to consumers who faced illegal debt collection. According to the FTC's complaint, GE Capital regularly sought out consumers who filed for bankruptcy protection to persuade them to "reaffirm" credit account debts and falsely represented that these "reaffirmation agreements" would be filed with the bankruptcy courts, as required by law. The final order prohibits GE Capital from misrepresenting that any reaffirmation agreement has been or will be filed with the bankruptcy court, or that any reaffirmation agreement is binding. The Commission vote to make the consent order final was 4-0. (See news release dated August 7, 1998; FTC File No. 972 3188; Staff contact is Steven Baker, 312-960-5634.)

Fair Credit Reporting Act - Charge for Consumer Disclosures to Remain Unchanged in 1999

On December 2, the Commission published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the current ceiling on allowable charges under Section 612(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) will remain unchanged for 1999. Under 1996 amendments to the FCRA, the FTC is required to increase the $8 amount on January 1 of each year based proportionally on changes in the Consumer Price Index, with fractional changes rounded to the nearest 50 cents. Because the increase in the CPI has been too small to trigger an increase, the figure for 1999 will remain at $8. The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 4-0. (See 63 Federal Register 66545, December 2, 1998.)

Commission Comment to the U.S. Customs Service

On December 18, the Commission filed a comment with the U.S. Customs Service regarding a proposed change in its country-of-origin marking requirements for certain textile products. The comment addressed the application of FTC rules under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act to products that will be affected by the change in Customs' requirements. The Commission vote to file the comment was 4-0. (FTC File No. V980034; Staff contact is Carol Jennings, 202-326-3010.)

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, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202--326-3128); 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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