Announced Actions for January 7, 1999

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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 a divestiture application submitted by Nortek, Inc. to divest its wholly-owned subsidiary, M&S, to The Chamberlain Group, Inc. The divestiture was required under the terms of a final order with Nortek to settle FTC charges that Nortek's acquisition of NuTone, its closest competitor in the hard-wired residential intercom business, would violate antitrust laws. The Commission vote was 4-0. (See news releases dated July 27, 1998; October 19, 1998; Docket No. C-3831; Staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526.)

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 final order with Gateway 2000 requires the company to pay $290,000 to settle FTC charges that Gateway made false and misleading statements in advertising its refund policy and misleading claims about its on-site warranty service. The Commission required that the money be paid to the U.S. Treasury because individual consumers who should have received a refund could not be identified. The Commission vote to make the order final was 3-0, with Commissioner Sheila Anthony recused. (See news release dated July 22, 1998; FTC Docket No. C-3844; Staff contacts are: Michael Rose or Brenda Doubrava, 216-263-3455.)
  • The Commission has approved a final order with Medtronic, Inc. that resolves competitive concerns arising from the company's acquisition of Physio-Control International Corporation's automated external defibrillator (AED) business. Among the FTC's concerns were that the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the market for AEDs and eliminate direct competition between SurVivaLink, a company in which Medtronic has an interest, and Physio-Control by bringing the two competitors under the influence or control of Medtronic. Among the requirements in the final order are that Medtronic be a passive investor in SurVivaLink and a prohibition on Medtronic's naming a member to SurVivaLink's Board of Directors. The Commission vote to make the order final was 4-0. (See news release dated October 1, 1998; FTC Docket No. C-3842; Staff contact is Ann Malester, 202-326-2682.)
  • A final order with Shell Oil Company and its subsidiary, Tejas Energy, LLC, requires the divestiture of portions of the ANR pipeline system to settle FTC charges that the firms' acquisition of natural gas gathering assets of The Coastal Corporation violates antitrust laws by substantially reducing competition for natural gas gathering services. The Commission vote to make the order final was 4-0. (See news release dated October 1, 1998; FTC Docket No. C-3843; Staff contact is John Hoagland, 214-979-9395.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release 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 (202-382-4357); 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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