Commission Approves Application for Proposed Divestiture in Matter of Linde AG/BOC Group plc; FTC Approves Federal Register Notice on Amplifier Rule

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Commission approval of application for proposed divestiture: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved an application for proposed divestiture from Linde AG and The BOC Group plc concerning an August 29, 2006, FTC consent order regarding the acquisition of BOC by Linde. Under the terms of the order, the parties are required, among other things, to divest the relevant “Atmospheric Gases Assets” to a single buyer approved by the Commission. Through the application, the parties requested FTC approval to divest these assets to Airgas, Inc., a Delaware corporation. The application has now been approved.

The Commission vote approving the proposed divestiture was 5-0. (FTC Docket No. C-4163; the staff contact is Roberta S. Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press releases dated July 18, September 5, and December 1, 2006.)

Commission approval of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding the regulatory review of the Trade Regulation Rule Relating to Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Used in Home Entertainment Products (Amplifier Rule). As detailed in the notice, which will be published shortly and is available now on the FTC’s Web site, the FTC is announcing that it has decided not to amend the Amplifier Rule at this time in connection with the testing of multichannel “home theater” amplifiers, and to place the Rule on its regular review schedule for 2008 as part of the Commission’s ongoing systematic review of Federal Trade Commission rules and guides. At that time, the Commission will solicit comments to garner a more robust, contemporary record from which to determine what, if any, amendments are appropriate to address associated channels in a multi-channel system, as well as to gauge the economic impact of, and the continuing need for, the Rule as a whole.

The Commission vote authorizing the publication of the Federal Register notice, which also includes more detail on the background and history of the Amplifier Rule, in the Federal Register was 5-0. (File No. P974222; staff contact is Jock K. Chung, Bureau Consumer Protection, 202-326-2984.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.


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