FTC Closes Investigation of Joint Venture Between Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corporation of America

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has closed its investigation into whether the proposed joint venture between Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corporation of America may substantially lessen competition in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The European Commission (EC) also reviewed this proposed merger. Throughout the course of their respective investigations, the FTC and the EC Competition Directorate’s staff consulted and cooperated with each other under the terms of their 1991 cooperation agreement and 2002 Best Practices on Cooperation in Merger Investigations.

The Commission closed the investigation without taking any enforcement action. Both companies have been notified of the Commission’s action. The closing letters sent by the FTC to the parties and a statement by Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson have been posted on the Commission's Web site, and are the only publicly available documents regarding this action.

Copies of the closing letters 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. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, Electronic Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published “Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws,” which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.

(FTC File No. 041-0054)

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