Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Sigma Corporation engaged in illegal anticompetitive practices to protect its share of the market for iron pipe fitting used in municipal water systems nationwide. In settling the FTC's charges, Sigma has agreed not to use similar anticompetitive tactics in the future.
At the same time the FTC settled with Sigma, it also charged its competitors, McWane, Inc. and Star Pipe Products, Ltd., with acting anticompetitively in the market for iron pipe fittings. Neither McWane nor Star have agreed to settle the FTC's charges, and the complaint against McWane is scheduled to be heard by an Administrative Law Judge at the Commission later this year. The complaint against Star has been removed from the administrative process.
The Commission vote approving the final settlement order with Sigma was 4-0. The order can be found on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release, and public comments can be found here. (FTC File No. 101-0080; the staff contact is Linda Holleran, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2267; see press release dated January 4, 2012.)
Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has determined not to modify a final order settling charges that AmeriGas L.P.'s proposed acquisition of Energy Transfer Partners L.P.'s Heritage Propane business would have reduced competition and raised prices in the market for propane exchange cylinders that consumers use to fuel barbeque grills and patio heaters. The final FTC order resolving the charges protects consumers by requiring AmeriGas to exclude ETP's cylinder exchange business, Heritage Propane Express, from the sale.
The Commission vote was 4-0. (FTC File No. 121-0022, Docket No. C-4346; the staff contact is Thomas N. Dahdouh, FTC Western Region, San Francisco, 415-848-5122.; see press release dated January 11, 2012.)
The FTC's Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.