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FTC FINALIZES CONSENT AGREEMENT IN THREE TENORS CASE
FTC has finalized a consent agreement in the so-called Three Tenors case. According to FTC's complaint, Warner and PolyGram agreed not to discount and not to advertise certain of their catalog products for a limited period of time. FTC alleges that the agreement violated federal law. A settlement with Warner will bar future agreements to fix prices or restrict advertising.
According to FTC's complaint, The Three Tenors have come together
every four years since 1990 at the site of the World Cup soccer
finals for a combined live concert and recording session.
Distribution rights to the original 1990 Three Tenors recordings,
titled The Three Tenors were acquired by PolyGram Music Group.
Distribution rights to the follow-up recordings, The Three Tenors in
Concert 1994, were acquired by Warner Music Group. The firms agreed
to collaborate in the distribution of audio and video products
derived from the next Three Tenors World Cup concert, scheduled for
Paris on July 10, 1998.
FTC alleged that acting on concern that the 1998 recordings wouldn't
be as well received as the first two performances, Warner and
PolyGram implemented an illegal "moratorium" on competitive activity.
With the third Three Tenors album and video scheduled for release in
August 1998, the parties agreed that PolyGram wouldn't discount or
advertise the 1990 Three Tenors album and video from August 1, 1998
to October 15, 1998. In return, Warner wouldn't discount or advertise
the 1994 Three Tenors album and video during this period. The effect
of the agreement, "was to restrain competition unreasonably, to
increase prices, and to injure consumers," the FTC complaint says.
NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does
not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission
issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law
with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may
result in a civil penalty of $11,000.
(Warner Communications, Inc. (The Three Tenors), FTC File No.
001-0231, FTC Dkt. No. C-4025, September 21, 2001.)
WILSON APPOINTED EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO FTC CHAIRMAN
FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris announced the appointment of Christine C. Wilson as
his Executive Assistant. Wilson will oversee a range of consumer
protection and antitrust matters on the Chairman's behalf.
Wilson joins FTC from the law firm of Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White,
LLP. Earlier in her career, she practiced with the law firm of
Collier, Shannon, Rill & Scott PLLC. Wilson focused her practice on
antitrust and trade regulation law, with an emphasis on international
competition law and policy. Wilson advised James F. Rill, Co-Chair of
the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee to the
Department of Justice, in the formulation and drafting of the final
recommendations of the Advisory Committee. Also, she took part in the
competition policy initiatives and activities of many organizations,
including the U.S. Council for International Business, the
International Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Industry
Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation &
(FTC Release, September 6, 2001.)
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