The Commission has received an application from Liberty Media Corporation (Liberty) requesting that the FTC reopen and set aside the final order in the matter of Time Warner, Inc., et al. (Docket No. C-3709), as it applies to Liberty and to dismiss Liberty as a respondent. According to the application, Liberty was split off from Tele-Communications, Inc.'s (TCI's) successor AT&T Corporation (AT&T) on August 10, 2001, and became a separate, independent company. The application argues that this termination of the linkage that existed, through Liberty's then-parent company (TCI) and Time Warner, Inc. (Time Warner) is a change of fact that eliminates the need for the order as it applies to Liberty. Accordingly, the application contends, the provisions of the order relating to Liberty are no longer in the public interest and should therefore be modified as detailed above. The Commission is accepting public comments on the application until April 22, 2002, after which it will vote on whether to approve it. Comments should be sent to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. (Docket No. C-3709; staff contact is Roberta Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated September 12, 1996.)
Approval of amended Memorandum of Understanding:
The Commission has approved an amended Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mohave County (Arizona) Attorney that expands the uses for which redress money covered by a prior FTC/Mohave County MOU could be spent to include expenditures for improvements, amenities, and facilities in the Valle Vista subdivision of Kingman, Arizona. The original redress plan, announced by the Commission in 1997, was the culmination of an FTC case that began in 1977, when the agency issued an order settling charges that Flagg Industries, Inc. (Flagg) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Queen Creek Land and Cattle Corporation (Queen Creek), misrepresented the value and availability of lots in three Arizona subdivisions - ValleVista in Kingman; Cordes Lake in Cordes; and Verde Village, near Cottonwood - in the course of selling them to consumers. Flagg later was released from its obligations under the FTC order. Queen Creek (which eventually became Sunbelt Construction Company) was spun-off and remained liable for completing the utility infrastructure in the subdivisions.
In February 1994, the FTC alleged that Sunbelt had mismanaged the account set up to provide the utilities connections and did not have sufficient assets to provide utilities for the Valle Vista lot owners. At that time, the FTC announced a settlement agreement with the firm under which Sunbelt would be liquidated and its assets deposited into the redress fund. Under the terms of the original redress plan, owners who built homes on their undeveloped lots in the Valle Vista subdivision could apply for up to $2,500 each (for up to two lots) to cover costs associated with installing electric utilities. Through the amended MOU announced today, in addition to allowing expenditures for improvements, amenities, and facilities in the Valle Vista subdivision, the redress money will be available for one year to lot owners who can apply for up to $8,000 each (for up to three lots) to cover costs associated with installing electric utilities to homes built on their lots. These and other revisions are detailed in the amended MOU, which is available on the FTC's Web site. The current balance in the redress fund is approximately $580,000. The Commission vote to approve the amended MOU was 4-0, with Commissioner Sheila Anthony not participating. The amended MOU will become effective upon signing by the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Mohave County Attorney. (FTC File No. X940051; Civ. No. CIV-94-0339-PHX-EHC; staff contact is Louise R. Jung, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2989; see press releases dated February 15, 1994 and August 14, 1997.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release 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 Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.
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