Release Date: November 20, 2001
The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has negotiated an agreement with The Hearst Corporation (Hearst), which staff will propose to the Commission as a way to settle a permanent injunction action filed by the FTC. According to the Commission's April 5, 2001 complaint, Hearst failed to provide documents required by premerger notification law and then consummated a merger that monopolized the integrated drug information database market. On November 9, 2001, the defendants, The Hearst Trust, The Hearst Corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary, First DataBank, Inc., signed a stipulation for entry of a final order to settle that suit.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Hearst would divest the Medi-Span business to Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. (d/b/a Facts and Comparisons), a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer, n.v., to disgorge $19 million in profits and to comply with certain other obligations.
The Hearst Corporation and The Hearst Trust are headquartered in New York City, and First DataBank, Inc. is headquartered in San Bruno, California. Facts and Comparisons, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is an unincorporated division of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc., which is a Delaware corporation and a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer, n.v., a Dutch corporation.
The FTC must approve the proposed settlement before it can be filed with the court. Although not required to do so, the Commission believes that, based upon the circumstances in this case, it is in the public interest to make the proposed final order available for review on the FTC's Web site. The public is invited to submit comments on this proposed settlement for the FTC's consideration. Comments should be submitted to the Secretary of the Commission, attention: Daniel P. Ducore, Assistant Director for Compliance, Bureau of Competition. The FTC will be acting expeditiously on this matter and requests that comments be received no later than December 3, 2001. If the agreement is approved by the Commission, it will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The FTC's Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, Electronic Mail: email@example.com; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published "Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws," which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.
(Civil Action No. 1:01CV00734)