Federal Trade Commission Approves Final Orders Settling Charges for Marker Volkl (International) GmbH and Tecnica Group S.p.A
Jul 9 14
The Federal Trade Commission has approved two final orders settling charges that ski equipment manufacturers Marker Volkl (International) GmbH and Tecnica Group S.p.A. for many years illegally agreed not to compete for one another's ski endorsers or employees. According to the FTC's May 2014 complaint, starting in 2004, the two companies illegally agreed not to compete with each other to secure endorsements by professional skiers. Specifically, the FTC charged that Marker Volkl agreed not to solicit, recruit, or contact any skier who previously endorsed Tecnica skis, and Tecnica agreed to a similar arrangement with respect to Marker Volkl's endorsers. In addition, according to the FTC, in 2007, the companies expanded the scope of their non-compete agreement to cover all of their employees. The purpose was to avoid bidding up the cost of securing endorsements from skiers, as well as the salaries of their employees. The final orders settling the FTC's charges Marker Volkl order Tecnica Group order bar each firm from engaging in similar anticompetitive conduct in the future. The Commission vote approving the final orders was 5-0.
Zimmer and Biomet Receives a Request for Additional Information from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
Jul 3 14
Zimmer and Biomet each received a request for additional information from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in connection with Zimmer's proposed $13.4 billion acquisition of Biomet. This second request will extend the waiting period until 30 days after Zimmer and Biomet have substantially complied with the request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the parties or terminated sooner by the FTC.
L'Oréal USA, Inc. Settles Federal Trade Commission Charges Alleging Deceptive Advertising for Anti-Aging Cosmetics
Jun 30 14
L'Oréal USA, Inc. has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of deceptive advertising about its Lancôme Génifique and L'Oréal Paris Youth Code skincare products. According to the FTC's complaint, L'Oréal made false and unsubstantiated claims that its Génifique and Youth Code products provided anti-aging benefits by targeting users' genes. In national advertising campaigns that encompassed print, radio, television, Internet, and social media outlets, L'Oréal claimed that its Génifique products were "clinically proven" to "boost genes'" activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins that would cause "visibly younger skin in just 7 days," and would provide results to specific percentages of users. Similarly, for its Youth Code products, L'Oréal touted -in both English- and Spanish-language advertisements - the "new era of skincare: gene science," and that consumers could "crack the code to younger acting skin." Charging as much as $132 per container, L'Oréal has sold Génifique nationwide since February 2009 at Lancôme counters in department stores and at beauty specialty stores. The company has sold Youth Code, which costs up to $25 per container at major retail stores across the United States, since November 2010. Under the proposed administrative settlement, L'Oréal is prohibited from claiming that any Lancôme brand or L'Oréal Paris brand facial skincare product targets or boosts the activity of genes to make skin look or act younger, or respond five times faster to aggressors like stress, fatigue, and aging, unless the company has competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating such claims. The settlement also prohibits claims that certain Lancôme brand and L'Oréal Paris brand products affect genes unless the claims are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Finally, L'Oréal is prohibited from making claims about these products that misrepresent the results of any test or study.