VANITY FAIR ASKS FTC TO DROP CONSENT DEAL
Byline: Joyce Barrett
WASHINGTON — Vanity Fair Mills, Reading, Pa., has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to set aside a 26-year-old consent order settling allegations that Vanity Fair conspired with its retail outlets to fix the resale prices of its merchandise.
Under a “sunset” policy enacted last July, companies are now able to petition for dismissal of competition orders that are more than 20 years old. The request will be open for public comment until Dec. 6, after which the FTC will issue its decision.
Lori Tarnowski, a vice president and secretary of VF Corp., Vanity Fair’s parent company, said that in taking advantage of the sunset provision, the company has “been complying with the order and intends to continue to voluntarily comply.”
The 1968 consent order prohibits Vanity Fair from entering into agreements with retail accounts that fix or tamper with the resale prices of Vanity Fair merchandise and also prohibits conduct that may assist a resale price maintenance scheme.
As long as the order is in place, Vanity Fair, if ever found guilty by the FTC of price fixing, could be charged civil penalties up to $10,000 daily for each violation, an FTC spokeswoman said. If the consent order is dismissed, the FTC could not sue Vanity Fair for civil penalties until another order is issued. Vanity Fair is one of about a dozen firms that have taken advantage of the new sunset provision and sought to have an order dismissed, the spokeswoman said.
— Fairchild News Service