UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
NINE WEST GROUP INC., a corporation.
DOCKET NO. C-3937
Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq.), and by virtue of the authority vested in it by said Act, the Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Nine West Group Inc. (hereinafter "Respondent" or "Nine West"), has violated the provisions of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45, and it appearing to the Commission that a proceeding by it in respect thereof would be in the public interest, hereby issues this complaint stating its charges as follows:
1. Respondent Nine West Group Inc. is a corporation organized, existing and doing business under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business located at Nine West Plaza, 1129 Westchester Avenue, White Plains, New York 10604-3529, and includes its parent, Jones Apparel Group, Inc., and their affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions and organizational units of any kind, their successors and assigns and their present officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives and other persons acting on their behalf.
2. Respondent is now, and for some time has been, engaged in the offering for sale, sale, and distribution of women's footwear to retail dealers located throughout the United States, including many of the nation's largest retail chains.
3. Respondent is a "corporation" within the meaning of Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 44.
4. Respondent maintains and has maintained a substantial course of business, including the acts or practices alleged in the complaint, which are in or affecting commerce within the meaning of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45.
5. In connection with the sale and distribution of Nine West branded products, Respondent, in combination, agreement and understanding with certain of its dealers, beginning in January 1988 and continuing thereafter until at least July 31, 1999, engaged in unlawful contracts, combinations, or agreements, in unreasonable restraint of interstate trade and commerce.
6. The combinations and contracts consisted of continuing agreements, understandings or concert of action among Respondent and certain of its dealers, the substantial terms of which were to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize the retail prices at which Nine West products were advertised and sold to the consuming public.
7. For the purpose of forming, effectuating and furthering the unlawful contracts, combinations or agreements, the Respondent and certain of its dealers did, among other things, the following:
8. The purpose, effect, tendency, or capacity of the acts and practices described in Paragraphs 5, 6, and 7 has been to restrain trade unreasonably and to hinder competition in the sale of women's footwear in the United States, and to deprive consumers of the benefits of competition in the following ways, among others:
9. The aforesaid acts and practices constitute unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45. These acts and practices are continuing and will continue in the absence of the relief requested.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, the Federal Trade Commission on this eleventh day of April, 2000, issues its complaint against said Respondent.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark