Release of Commission report: The Commission, with the concurrence of the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, has authorized the release of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Report to Congress Regarding the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Premerger Notification Program. The report summarizes Commission and Department of Justice (DOJ) actions conducted under the HSR Act in fiscal year 2003, noting that 1,014 premerger filings were received – 173 fewer than the 1,187 filings received in fiscal year 2002, and 3,912 fewer than in 2000, the record year for premerger filing receipts. The report also describes the HSR Act, and provides a historical overview of how the federal antitrust agencies have implemented the Act since its enactment in the late 1970s.
The report then presents FY 2003 developments relating to compliance with the Premerger Notification Rules and Procedures, followed by a discussion of both FTC and DOJ merger enforcement activities during the year. Finally, the report includes a summary of the ongoing reassessment of the effects of the Premerger Notification Program. Appendices provide a summary of transactions for fiscal years 1994-2003 and the number of transactions reported as filings by month during this time. A statistical table presents data profiling HSR filings and enforcement interest during FY 2003. The Commission vote to issue the report, which is available on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, was 4-0-1, with Chairman Timothy J. Muris not participating. (FTC File No. P110014; the staff contact is Marian Bruno, Office of Premerger Notification, 202-326-2846.)
Commission approval of petition to reopen and modify final decision and order: The Commission has approved a petition to reopen and modify the Commission's 2003 decision and order in Nestlé Holdings Inc., Docket No. C-4082, which arose from Nestlé’s acquisition of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc. The respondents petitioned the FTC to modify the Order on behalf of CoolBrands International, Inc., and its subsidiary Integrated Brands, Inc., the Commission-approved divestiture buyer in this proceeding.
Through the confidential petition, a redacted version of which is available on the FTC’s Web site, the respondents requested that the Commission reopen and modify the final order to amend certain provisions of existing agreements with CoolBrands, as well as to allow CoolBrands and Dreyer’s to enter into a new “Trademark License Agreement” for Dreyer’s to have the right to use the “Whole Fruit” name on Dreyer’s fruit bar line for an additional 18 months. Through the action announced today, the FTC has approved the respondents’ request, and granted prior approval of the proposed changes to the order’s divestiture agreements. The respondents also requested that the public comment period regarding its petition be eliminated. The Commission denied this request.
The Commission vote to approve the respondents’ request to reopen and modify the order and to deny the elimination of the public comment period was 3-0-2, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras and Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour not participating. (FTC File No. 021-0174, Docket No. C-4082; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press releases dated March 4, June 25, and November 12, 2003 and June 10, 200 and July 2, 2004.
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, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.