Professional Lighting and Sign Management Company of America, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 78866-78868 [2014-30646]

Download as PDF 78866 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Notices B. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198–0001: 1. CSB Bancshares, Inc. Amended Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust, Ellsworth, Kansas; to acquire additional shares of and retain 30.94 percent of the outstanding voting shares of CSB Bancshares, Inc., Ellsworth, Kansas. In connection with this application; CSB Bancshares, Inc. Amended Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust, Ellsworth, Kansas, to acquire indirectly, and CSB Bancshares, Inc. Ellsworth, Kansas, to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of State Bank of Delphos, Delphos, Kansas. 2. First York Ban Corp., York, Nebraska; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Loup Valley Bancshares, North Loup, Nebraska, and thereby indirectly acquire North Loup Valley Bank, North Loup, Nebraska. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 24, 2014. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2014–30634 Filed 12–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 141 0088] Professional Lighting and Sign Management Company of America, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order— embodied in the consent agreement— that would settle these allegations. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 22, 2015. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ plasmaconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ plasmaconsent by following the mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:02 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Blank, Bureau of Competition, (202–326–2523), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for December 23, 2014), on the World Wide Web, at http:// www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before January 22, 2015. Write ‘‘Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http:// www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,’’ as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ plasmaconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. 1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). E:\FR\FM\31DEN1.SGM 31DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before January 22, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (‘‘Consent Agreement’’) from the Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc. (‘‘PLASMA’’). The Commission’s complaint (‘‘Complaint’’) alleges that PLASMA, acting as a combination of its members and in agreement with at least some of its members, restrained competition among its members and others in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by adopting and maintaining provisions in its Bylaws and Standard Operating Procedures that restrict members from competing in the territory of another member, that restrict price competition, and that restrict members from soliciting the customers of another member upon termination of membership in the association. Under the terms of the proposed Consent Agreement, PLASMA is required to cease and desist from allocating territories, restraining price competition among its members, and restraining its members from soliciting customers. It is also required to maintain an antitrust compliance program and take other steps to further the remedial objectives of the proposed order. The Commission anticipates that the competitive issues described in the Complaint will be resolved by accepting the proposed order, subject to final approval, contained in the Consent Agreement. The proposed Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days for receipt of comments from interested members of the public. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will review the Consent Agreement again and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the Consent VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:02 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 Agreement or make final the accompanying Decision and Order (‘‘the Proposed Order’’). The purpose of this Analysis to Aid Public Comment is to invite and facilitate public comment. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Consent Agreement and the accompanying Proposed Order or in any way to modify their terms. The Consent Agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by PLASMA that the law has been violated as alleged in the Complaint or that the facts alleged in the Complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, are true. I. The Complaint The Complaint makes the following allegations. A. The Respondent PLASMA is a non-profit corporation consisting of licensed electricians, with approximately 25 member firms across the country. PLASMA’s members specialize in commercial lighting and electrical sign installation and maintenance. B. The Anticompetitive Conduct PLASMA maintains a set of Member Bylaws and Standard Operating Procedures (‘‘Bylaws’’) applicable to the commercial activities of its members, and requires its members to comply with its Bylaws. PLASMA maintains the following provisions in its Bylaws: • A provision that prohibits a member from providing to a customer commercial lighting or sign services in the designated territory of another member, unless such other member first declines to perform the work; • A price schedule governing the price of any such work performed in the designated territory of another member; and • A provision that bars any member, for one year following termination of membership, from soliciting or competing for the customers (or prospective customers) of another member. PLASMA also established a grievance committee to resolve alleged violations of the Bylaws, as well as a process through which PLASMA could sanction violations of the Bylaws. II. The Allegations The Complaint alleges that PLASMA has violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by designating a territory for each member, and by restricting through its Bylaws the ability of members to compete in the PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78867 designated territory of another member; to compete on price; and to solicit or compete for the customers of other members. The Complaint alleges that the purpose, effect, tendency, or capacity of the combination, agreement, acts and practices of PLASMA has been and is to restrain competition unreasonably and to injure consumers by discouraging and restricting competition among licensed electricians. III. The Proposed Order The Proposed Order has the following substantive provisions: Paragraph II requires PLASMA to cease and desist from restraining its members from competing in the territories of other members; from restraining price competition among members; and from restraining members from soliciting the customers of other members upon the termination of membership in the association. The Proposed Order does not prohibit PLASMA from requesting that its members identify any geographic region(s) within which such members can quickly respond for service. However, PLASMA may not place restrictions on the number of members that may identify a particular geographic region as a ‘‘quick response’’ region. Paragraph III of the Proposed Order requires PLASMA to remove from its Web site and organization documents any statement inconsistent with the Proposed Order. PLASMA must distribute a statement describing the Consent Agreement (‘‘the Settlement Statement’’) to PLASMA’s board of directors, officers, employees, and members. Paragraph III also requires PLASMA to provide all new members and all members who receive a membership renewal notice with a copy of the Settlement Statement. Paragraph IV of the Proposed Order requires PLASMA to design, maintain, and operate an antitrust compliance program. PLASMA will have to appoint an Antitrust Compliance Officer for the duration of the Proposed Order. For a period of three years, PLASMA will have to provide annual training to its board of directors, offices, and employees, and conduct a presentation at its annual conference that summarizes PLASMA’s obligations under the Proposed Order and provides context-appropriate guidance on compliance with the antitrust laws. PLASMA must also implement policies and procedures to enable persons to ask questions about, and report violations of, the Proposed Order and the antitrust laws confidentially and without fear of retaliation, and to discipline its leaders, E:\FR\FM\31DEN1.SGM 31DEN1 78868 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 250 / Wednesday, December 31, 2014 / Notices employees, and members for failure to comply with the Proposed Order. Paragraphs V–VII of the Proposed order impose certain standard reporting and compliance requirements on PLASMA. The Proposed Order will expire in 20 years. By direction of the Commission. Janice Podoll Frankle, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2014–30646 Filed 12–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 142 3117] TXVT Limited Partnership, Doing Business as Trophy Nissan; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order— embodied in the consent agreement— that would settle these allegations. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 22, 2015. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ tvxtlimitedconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘TXVT Limited Partnership, a Texas Limited Partnership, d/b/a Trophy Nissan— Consent Agreement; File No. 1423117’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ tvxtlimitedconsent by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘TXVT Limited Partnership, a Texas Limited Partnership, d/b/a Trophy Nissan— Consent Agreement; File No. 1423117’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC– 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:02 Dec 30, 2014 Jkt 235001 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. Luis Gallegos, (214) 979–9383, Southwest Region, 1999 Bryan Street, Suite 2150, Dallas, TX 75201–6808. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for December 23, 2014), on the World Wide Web, at http:// www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before January 22, 2015. Write ‘‘TXVT Limited Partnership, a Texas Limited Partnership, d/b/a Trophy Nissan— Consent Agreement; File No. 1423117’’ on your comment. Your comment— including your name and your state— will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/ publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,’’ as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ tvxtlimitedconsent by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘TXVT Limited Partnership, a Texas Limited Partnership, d/b/a Trophy Nissan—Consent Agreement; File No. 1423117’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before January 22, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. 1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). E:\FR\FM\31DEN1.SGM 31DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 250 (Wednesday, December 31, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78866-78868]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30646]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 141 0088]


Professional Lighting and Sign Management Company of America, 
Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. 
The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the 
allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order--
embodied in the consent agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/plasmaconsent online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Professional Lighting 
and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File 
No. 1410088'' on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/plasmaconsent by following the 
instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment 
on paper, write ``Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies 
of America, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088'' on your comment 
and on the envelope, and mail it to the following address: Federal 
Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment 
to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 
5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Blank, Bureau of Competition, 
(202-326-2523), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC Home Page (for December 23, 2014), on the World Wide Web, 
at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before January 22, 
2015. Write ``Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of 
America, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File No. 1410088'' on your comment. 
Your comment--including your name and your state--will be placed on the 
public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, 
on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to 
remove individuals' home contact information from comments before 
placing them on the Commission Web site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, 
date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification 
number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial 
account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive health information, like medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which . . . is privileged or confidential,'' as discussed in Section 
6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 
4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\ Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/plasmaconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. 
If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also 
may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Professional Lighting 
and Sign Management Companies of America, Inc.--Consent Agreement; File 
No. 1410088'' on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your 
comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of 
the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), 
Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 
20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by 
courier or overnight service.

[[Page 78867]]

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before January 22, 2015. You can find more 
information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in 
the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') has accepted, subject 
to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (``Consent 
Agreement'') from the Professional Lighting and Sign Management 
Companies of America, Inc. (``PLASMA''). The Commission's complaint 
(``Complaint'') alleges that PLASMA, acting as a combination of its 
members and in agreement with at least some of its members, restrained 
competition among its members and others in violation of Section 5 of 
the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by adopting 
and maintaining provisions in its Bylaws and Standard Operating 
Procedures that restrict members from competing in the territory of 
another member, that restrict price competition, and that restrict 
members from soliciting the customers of another member upon 
termination of membership in the association.
    Under the terms of the proposed Consent Agreement, PLASMA is 
required to cease and desist from allocating territories, restraining 
price competition among its members, and restraining its members from 
soliciting customers. It is also required to maintain an antitrust 
compliance program and take other steps to further the remedial 
objectives of the proposed order.
    The Commission anticipates that the competitive issues described in 
the Complaint will be resolved by accepting the proposed order, subject 
to final approval, contained in the Consent Agreement. The proposed 
Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days for 
receipt of comments from interested members of the public. Comments 
received during this period will become part of the public record. 
After 30 days, the Commission will review the Consent Agreement again 
and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw 
from the Consent Agreement or make final the accompanying Decision and 
Order (``the Proposed Order'').
    The purpose of this Analysis to Aid Public Comment is to invite and 
facilitate public comment. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the proposed Consent Agreement and the accompanying 
Proposed Order or in any way to modify their terms.
    The Consent Agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not 
constitute an admission by PLASMA that the law has been violated as 
alleged in the Complaint or that the facts alleged in the Complaint, 
other than jurisdictional facts, are true.

I. The Complaint

    The Complaint makes the following allegations.

A. The Respondent

    PLASMA is a non-profit corporation consisting of licensed 
electricians, with approximately 25 member firms across the country. 
PLASMA's members specialize in commercial lighting and electrical sign 
installation and maintenance.

B. The Anticompetitive Conduct

    PLASMA maintains a set of Member Bylaws and Standard Operating 
Procedures (``Bylaws'') applicable to the commercial activities of its 
members, and requires its members to comply with its Bylaws. PLASMA 
maintains the following provisions in its Bylaws:
     A provision that prohibits a member from providing to a 
customer commercial lighting or sign services in the designated 
territory of another member, unless such other member first declines to 
perform the work;
     A price schedule governing the price of any such work 
performed in the designated territory of another member; and
     A provision that bars any member, for one year following 
termination of membership, from soliciting or competing for the 
customers (or prospective customers) of another member.
    PLASMA also established a grievance committee to resolve alleged 
violations of the Bylaws, as well as a process through which PLASMA 
could sanction violations of the Bylaws.

II. The Allegations

    The Complaint alleges that PLASMA has violated Section 5 of the 
Federal Trade Commission Act by designating a territory for each 
member, and by restricting through its Bylaws the ability of members to 
compete in the designated territory of another member; to compete on 
price; and to solicit or compete for the customers of other members.
    The Complaint alleges that the purpose, effect, tendency, or 
capacity of the combination, agreement, acts and practices of PLASMA 
has been and is to restrain competition unreasonably and to injure 
consumers by discouraging and restricting competition among licensed 
electricians.

III. The Proposed Order

    The Proposed Order has the following substantive provisions: 
Paragraph II requires PLASMA to cease and desist from restraining its 
members from competing in the territories of other members; from 
restraining price competition among members; and from restraining 
members from soliciting the customers of other members upon the 
termination of membership in the association. The Proposed Order does 
not prohibit PLASMA from requesting that its members identify any 
geographic region(s) within which such members can quickly respond for 
service. However, PLASMA may not place restrictions on the number of 
members that may identify a particular geographic region as a ``quick 
response'' region.
    Paragraph III of the Proposed Order requires PLASMA to remove from 
its Web site and organization documents any statement inconsistent with 
the Proposed Order. PLASMA must distribute a statement describing the 
Consent Agreement (``the Settlement Statement'') to PLASMA's board of 
directors, officers, employees, and members. Paragraph III also 
requires PLASMA to provide all new members and all members who receive 
a membership renewal notice with a copy of the Settlement Statement.
    Paragraph IV of the Proposed Order requires PLASMA to design, 
maintain, and operate an antitrust compliance program. PLASMA will have 
to appoint an Antitrust Compliance Officer for the duration of the 
Proposed Order. For a period of three years, PLASMA will have to 
provide annual training to its board of directors, offices, and 
employees, and conduct a presentation at its annual conference that 
summarizes PLASMA's obligations under the Proposed Order and provides 
context-appropriate guidance on compliance with the antitrust laws. 
PLASMA must also implement policies and procedures to enable persons to 
ask questions about, and report violations of, the Proposed Order and 
the antitrust laws confidentially and without fear of retaliation, and 
to discipline its leaders,

[[Page 78868]]

employees, and members for failure to comply with the Proposed Order.
    Paragraphs V-VII of the Proposed order impose certain standard 
reporting and compliance requirements on PLASMA.
    The Proposed Order will expire in 20 years.

    By direction of the Commission.
Janice Podoll Frankle,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-30646 Filed 12-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P