Publication of information gathered at FTC mergers roundtable: On December 9-10, 2002, the FTC's Bureau of Economics held a roundtable entitled "Understanding Mergers: Strategy & Planning, Implementation and Outcomes." The roundtable brought together experts on mergers from economics departments, business schools, merger and acquisition (M&A) consulting, antitrust law, and business to present their views on the merger process to merger regulators from the United States, European Union, and Canada. The goals of the roundtable included: 1) gaining a better understanding the M&A process from the development of a corporate strategic plan through the various stages to the end of the implementation; and 2) obtaining a broader perspective on mergers that might shed new light on the factors that make mergers succeed or fail. A unique element of this Roundtable was the inclusion of a panel of business executives who had substantial recent experience with M&A.
An edited transcript and copies of the presentations and various other materials related to the roundtable are now available on the Economic Issues portion of the Commission's Web site (http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/economic.htm). Specific information on the site includes: the roundtable agenda and transcript, slides and presentations, biographies of the panelists, as well as a subject index, bibliography, and review of paper of business consulting literature regarding mergers (FTC staff contact is Paul A. Pautler, Bureau of Economics, 202-326-3357)
Release of Commission report: The Commission has authorized the staff to release publicly the 25th Annual Report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This report, which is available online at www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpajump.htm, summarizes the Commission's administration and enforcement of the FDCPA during 2002. It presents an overview of the types of consumer complaints received by the Commission, a summary of the Commission's consumer and industry education initiatives, and descriptions of the Commission's debt-collection enforcement cases that became public in 2002. The report also contains four recommendations for amendments to the FDCPA that the Commission believes will improve the statute's clarity and effectiveness as a law enforcement tool. The FDCPA prohibits abusive, deceptive, and otherwise improper collection practices by third-party debt collectors. Section 815 of the FDCPA requires the Commission to submit annual reports to Congress. The Commission vote to issue the report was 5-0. (FTC File No. P034809; staff contact is Thomas E. Kane, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3224.)
Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved the issuance of a final consent order in the matter concerning Quicken Loans Inc. and issued a response to the commenter of record. The Commission vote to approve the final consent order was 5-0. (FTC Docket No. 9304; staff contact is Thomas E. Kane, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2224; see press release dated December 30, 2002.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.