FTC Approves Amended Complaint in Matter of Publishers Business Services; Hexion LLC and Huntsman Corp. Petition Commission to Reopen and Set Aside Orders; Extension of Public Comment Period Related to Digital Rights Management Town Hall; Commission

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FTC Approves Amended Complaint in Matter of Publishers Business Services

– The Commission has approved an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against defendants Publishers Business Services, Inc., and Ed Dantuma Enterprises, Inc., also d/b/a Publishers Direct Services and Publishers Business Services. According to the FTC’s original complaint, filed in May 2008 as part of the “Operation Tele-PHONEY” telemarketing fraud law enforcement sweep, the defendants deceptively telemarketed magazine subscriptions, disguising their sales pitch as a survey, at the end of which they offered “free” or low-cost magazine subscriptions. They then billed consumers hundreds of dollars for the purportedly “free subscriptions,” and told them they had entered into binding, non-cancellable “verbal contracts” to buy the subscriptions. The defendants also allegedly harassed consumers at work and at home, in an attempt to get them to pay for the subscriptions, and engaged in other threatening conduct over the phone.

Through the amended complaint announced today, the FTC has added three individual defendants to the case: Dries Dantuma, Dirk Dantuma, and Jeffrey Dantuma, for their alleged role in deceptively telemarketing the magazine subscriptions to consumers. The Commission vote authorizing the filing of the amended complaint was 4-0. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. (FTC File No. X080032; the staff contact is Faye Chen Barnouw, FTC Western Region Office, Los Angeles, 310-824-4343; see press release dated May 20, 2008, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/05/telephoney.shtm.)

Hexion LLC and Huntsman Corp. Petition Commission to Reopen and Set Aside Orders

– Hexion LLC and Huntsman Corporation (Respondents) have petitioned the Commission to reopen and set aside two orders related to their proposed merger because they have terminated their planned merger and withdrawn their premerger notification filings. In allowing the planned merger to proceed, the Commission required the Respondents to complete certain divestitures and effect other relief. Accordingly, the Commission issued an Asset Maintenance Order on October 2, 2008, and a Decision and Order on November 14, 2008. In their petition, the Respondents assert that the termination of the merger agreement represents a significant change of fact that justifies setting aside the orders, that the orders no longer serve the public interest, and that the possible effect of the orders would be to harm competition. Therefore, the Respondents request that the Commission set aside the orders in their entirety.

The Commission is accepting public comments on the petition for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through March 11, 2009. Comments should be sent to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. (FTC Docket No. C-4235; the staff contact is Roberta Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861; see press release dated October 2, 2008, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/hexion.shtm.)

Extension of Public Comment Period Related to Digital Rights Management Town Hall

– The Commission has extended the public comment period related to its upcoming Digital Rights Management (DRM) Town Hall from Monday, February 9, 2009, to Friday, February 13, 2009. The Town Hall will take place on March 25, 2009, in Seattle, Washington. The press release on the Commission’s Web site announcing the event contains a link to information on how comments may be submitted to the agency.

The Commission has experienced problems with its electronic submission page. If the page is unavailable or not functioning, please e-mail any electronic comments to drmtownhall@ftc.gov, along with the project number and any contact information you wish to include. Please note that your comment -- including your name and your state – will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on the publicly accessible FTC Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm.

Because comments will be made public, they should not include any sensitive personal information, such as an individual’s Social Security Number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. Comments also should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, comments should not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential.” (FTC File No. P094502; the staff contact is Carl H. Settlemyer, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2019; see press release dated December 23, 2008, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/12/drm.shtm.)

Commission Approves Final Consent Order in Matter of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/Barr Pharmaceuticals

– Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/Barr Pharmaceuticals. The vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC File No. 081-0224; the staff contact is Stephanie C. Bovee, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2083; see press release dated December 19, 2008, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/12/tevabarr.shtm.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov 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.

(FYI 7.2009.wpd)

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