In the Matter of Oregon Lithoprint Inc., File No. 161-0230 #00003

Submission Number:
00003
Commenter:
Jon Bladine
Organization:
Oregon Lithoprint, Inc.
State:
Oregon
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Oregon Lithoprint Inc., File No. 161-0230
As Respondent in this case, we want to submit these comments to be included in the permanent public record. First, as one small correction, Respondent's headquarters is in McMinnville, OR. We acknowledge our acceptance of the Consent Order and Agreement, which state that the process does not involve admission that the law was violated. We also acknowledge the considerable work by FTC representatives in the interest of fair compromises in this case. Prior to initiation of this case, Respondent depended on an Oregon law long interpreted as requiring parties placing foreclosure notices to consider "best suited to give actual notice" when selecting newspapers for publication. Respondent also depended on a 2005 judicial decision in Yamhill County that penalized a party for failing to consider newspaper distribution patterns when placing foreclosure notices. The Complaint states, "OLI invited its competitor to agree to divide the market for publishing foreclosure notices by zip code Â…" Respondent does not take issue with that interpretation. However, we would comment that the "invitation" was for another newspaper to openly share Respondent's interpretation of Oregon law and the afore-mentioned judicial decision, and to communicate that interpretation to parties who would ultimately decide the placement of foreclosure notices. Respondent now recognizes that unless there are detailed, explicit legal mandates to the contrary, FTC anti-competition policies can extend to such shared interpretations of laws and court rulings. The "Decision and Order" bars Respondent from any action "To refuse to publish a Legal Notice." We would add that Respondent did not ever refuse publication of a legal notice. Respondent did, however, suggest to certain parties placing foreclosure notices in Respondent's newspaper that they should consider if such notices should more appropriately be placed in a Competitor's newspaper. Respondent believes that results of this FTC case will benefit others in the newspaper industry, in Oregon and elsewhere, who may face conflicting interpretations of state laws related to publication of legal notices. Thank you for this opportunity to augment the Public Record.