The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions:
- Consent agreements given final approval:
Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following entity: El Paso Energy Corporation. The Commission action makes the consent order binding on the respondent.
The Commission vote to finalize the consent agreement was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary not participating. (FTC File No. 991-0178; staff contact is Frank Lipson, 202-326-2617; see press release dated October 22, 1999.)
- Settlements approved by the Commission:
In the following matter, the FTC has voted to approve a stipulated final judgment and order for a permanent injunction as to defendants Thomas Lee Bewley and Judy E. Bewley: Five Star Auto Club.
According to the Commission's complaint in this matter, for a period of time the defendants operated the Alabama marketing office of the Five Star Auto Club, a pyramid scheme based in New York, and distributed the organization's marketing materials to consumers.
Under the settlement, which was signed by a U.S. District Court judge on January 3, 2000, the defendants are prohibited from engaging in pyramid schemes in the future and are also prohibited from making or providing others with the means of making material representations or omissions in connection with legitimate multi-level marketing programs. In addition, the settlement requires that the defendants' business assets be used to establish a consumer redress fund in this matter. The Commission's litigation continues against the remaining defendants in this case.
The Commission vote to approve the settlement was 5-0. (Civil Action No. CIV-99-1693; staff contact is Lisa Hone, 202-326-3207; see press release dated March 11, 1999.)
- Commission action regarding Guides for the Law Book Industry:
The FTC has voted to rescind the Commission's Guides for the Law Book Industry. The guides contain detailed advice concerning claims made in promoting and billing for legal reference materials, which are primarily sold to law schools, law libraries and members of the legal profession. In March 1999, as part of its continuing regulatory review process, the Commission sought public comment on the guides. Based on this review, the Commission concluded that the guides no longer are needed.
The Commission vote to rescind the guides was 5-0. (FTC File No. P994243; staff contacts are Kent Howerton, 202-326-3013, and Edwin Rodriguez, 202-326-3147; see related press release dated March 15, 1999.)
- Commission action regarding applications for approval:
The FTC has voted to shorten the public comment period on the divestiture application from the following: Precision Castparts Corporation. As a result of this action, the comment period was terminated, effective January 6, 2000. The Commission has also voted to approve the proposed transaction, which involves the divestiture of Precision Castparts' Albany Facility assets to Ladish Co., Inc. The application for this divestiture was placed on the public record on December 17, 1999.
The Commission vote to shorten the public comment period and the vote to approve the divestiture were both 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary not participating. (FTC File No. C-3904; staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526; see press releases dated November 10, 1999 and December 17, 1999.)
- Commission reports approved for release:
The FTC has approved the release of its annual report on the Truth in Lending, Consumer Leasing, Equal Credit Opportunity and Electronic Fund Transfer Acts. The Commission vote to approve the release of the report was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary not participating. (FTC File No. P004802; staff contact is Carole L. Reynolds, 202-326-3230.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this FYI are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 877-FTC Help (877-382-4357); 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.