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NOTE: This website is where you can find advertising law information based on archived news briefs from past issues of Advertising Compliance Service. This archived news brief was published in Advertising Compliance Service in August 2001.





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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.)


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 & Development.

(FTC Release, September 6, 2001.)
















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