FTC News Release
January 30, 2004
Commission approval of petition to reopen and modify final order
The Commission has approved a petition from Aventis SA (Aventis), the successor company to Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc SA (RP), to reopen and modify a final consent order regarding the 1999 merger of most of the two companies' businesses. Under the terms of the Commission order, which became final on January 20, 2000, Aventis was required to reduce to five percent its holdings in Rhodia, a French-based chemical company in which RP held a 67 percent share at the time of the merger. The respondents were given approximately five years to complete their sale of Rhodia shares.
Through its petition, Aventis had requested that the Commission reopen and modify the 2000 final order to allow it to divest its Rhodia shares to Credit Lyonnais (and other potential purchasers) in a manner that leaves Aventis with a residual interest in the performance of the shares for a period of time. Specifically, Aventis petitioned the FTC to add the following language into Paragraph VI.D. of the Order, following the time-period requirements for the divestiture: "…provided, however, that for the purposes of this Paragraph VI.D. only, the April 16, 2003, agreement between Respondents and Credit Lyonnais or any substantially similar financial agreements that relate to Rhodia's share performance, between Respondents and the purchaser(s) of Respondents' Rhodia voting securities, shall not be considered Respondents' 'holdings in Rhodia.'"
The Commission vote to reopen and modify the order was 4-0-1, with Chairman Timothy J. Muris not participating. Through this action, the FTC has:
- reopened and modified the order to allow Aventis to divest voting securities of Rhodia in a manner that allows Aventis to use a hedging arrangement in connection with the sale of the stock, and
- extended the deadline for divestiture by 12 months, until April 22, 2005.
Commission authorization of the staff to file amended complaints
The Commission has authorized the staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against Savvier, Inc., Savvier, LP, Greer Childers, Jack Ching Chung Chang, Jeffrey T. Tuller, and Keith Greer. The FTC's complaint in this matter, announced on November 10, 2003, alleged the defendants falsely advertised that their product — the BodyFlex+ System — would cause consumers to quickly lose inches and fat. Through the amended complaint, which is now available on the Commission's Web site, the FTC has:
- added BodyFlex, Inc. as a defendant;
- dismissed defendant Keith Greer;
- revised the complaint's common enterprise allegation; and
- included an allegation that certain claims are unsubstantiated, in addition to being false.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint was 5-0.
The Commission has authorized the staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against Platinum Universal, LLC, et al. The FTC's complaint in this matter, announced on November 10, 2003, alleged the defendants engaged in an advance-fee credit card fraud targeting the Hispanic community. Through this action, the Commission has added Michael Kirkovich as a defendant in this matter. The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint was 5-0.
Commission approval of final consent order
Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter concerning General Electric Company and Agfa Gevaert, NV. The Commission vote approving the final consent order was 3-0-2, with Chairman Timothy J. Muris not participating and Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour recused.
- Federal Trade Commission vs. Savvier, Greer Childers, Jack Ching Chung Chang, Jeffrey T. Tuller, and Keith Greer . United States District Court for the Central District of California. Civil Action No. LACV-03-8159. FTC File No. 032-3212.
This page was posted on October 10, 2005.