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DIGEST OF BUSINESS REVIEWS
1993


93-1 Case Western Reserve
University School of Medicine
and University Hospitals of
Cleveland

 
1/7/93
Health care

Single agent to negotiate
contract terms and fees
with third-party payers

Facts: Case Western and UHC proposed to use a single agent to negotiate contract terms and fees with third-party payers on behalf of the nineteen separate physician practice groups that provide medical care at UHC. Third-party payers will be advised that they are free to conduct negotiations directly with any practice group; each practice group will be free to negotiate directly with a third-party payer, as well as to accept or reject the agent-negotiated contract.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-2 AirPlus
Cleveland

 
1/13/93
Credit cards/services;
Airline services

Joint venture; Vertical
practice (misc.)

Facts: AirPlus, a group of international airlines that issue credit cards to subscribers, proposed to extend its credit card program to merchants in the United States and to allow United States airlines to become card-issuing members of AirPlus. The AirPlus credit card is issued by airlines and may be used to purchase air transportation, hotel, car rental, and other travel-related services. AirPlus proposed to offer its merchant program broadly in the United States and to allow United States air carriers to become card-issuing members of AirPlus.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-3 Auto Shippers' Efficiency Committee
Cleveland
 
1/14/93
  Automobiles; Railroad
Services/Equipment;
Transportation Services
Information exchange

Facts: A group of automobile manufacturers proposed to form Auto Shippers' Efficiency Committee to exchange information about railroad car construction, maintenance issues, and operating procedures, and to formulate joint recommendations for improving the efficiency of the Multilevel Railcar Pool. This Pool, authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission, consists of a group of twenty railroads formed to eliminate back-hauling of empty multilevel railcars, which are used to transport automobiles.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-4 Smokeless tobacco producers
 
1/14/93
  Tobacco Joint research project;
Joint venture;
Information exchange

Facts: Smokeless tobacco producers proposed to form a research joint venture to develop uniform analytical methods for measuring the nicotine and moisture content of smokeless tobacco products. The research joint venture was in response to the enactment of the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986, 15 U.S.C. § 4403, and to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services that the companies develop uniform testing methods to report the nicotine and moisture content of their products. Participation in the joint venture is open to any company that manufactures, packages, or imports smokeless tobacco products into the United States.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-5 PRIMESOURCE
 
1/29/93
  Lawn and garden products Joint venture;
Competitive bidding

Facts: Fifteen local and regional wholesale distributors of lawn and garden products proposed to form the PRIMESOURCE, a joint venture to bid for the accounts of multi-regional and national mass-merchandisers.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-6 National Association of
Credit Management
 
2/15/93
  Credit information;
Leasing industry
Information exchange

Facts: The National Association of Credit Management, with 39,000 business creditor members, proposed to create its own department to distribute credit information to businesses in the leasing industry in order to combat fraud.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-7 Fishermen's Marketing
Association, Inc.
 
5/24/93
  Fishing Fishermen's Collective
Marketing Act (FCMA)

Facts: The FMA proposed to extend membership to Canadian owners and captains of Canadian trawling vessels catching seafood in waters subject to Canadian jurisdiction. The FMA is organized to qualify for the limited antitrust exemption provided by the FCMA. Membership is limited to persons involved in trawl fishing in waters adjacent to the U.S. Pacific Coast.

Response: Declined to state a current enforcement intention.

93-8 Nickel Users Purchasing
Association, Inc. (NUPA)

6/2/93
  Nickel; Steel Joint venture;
Group purchasing

Facts: U.S. purchasers of primary nickel propose to form the Nickel Users Purchasing Association Inc. (NUPA), to negotiate and purchase primary nickel and to arrange for resale, warehousing, storing, insuring and shipping of primary nickel for its members. Membership will be open to all U.S. purchasers of primary nickel.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-9 Colorado Asphalt Producers
Association (CAPA)
 
6/15/93
  Asphalt Joint venture;
Joint research project

Facts: CAPA proposed to initiate an asphalt industry advancement program to do research and development concerning better asphalt products and to promote the advantages of asphalt cement in, for example, construction of roads and highways. Participation in the program is open to non-members of CAPA and is voluntary for CAPA members.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-10 Halon Recycling Corporation
(HRC)
 
7/27/93
  Chemicals Information exchange

Facts: HRC proposed to develop and establish an information exchange and marketing system to facilitate and encourage recovery, recycling and transfer of halon-1301, a chemical compound used to suppress fires and explosions. Production of halon-1301 is being phased out in order to protect the ozone layer.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-11 Copyright Clearance Center
Inc. (CCC)

 
8/2/93
  Copyrighted materials;
Licensing
Joint venture;
Licensing

Facts: CCC, an organization of authors, publishers and users of copyrighted materials, which facilitates copyright clearance between users of copyrighted materials and copyright holders, proposed to offer a new type of license under which CCC would negotiate fees directly with users for nonexclusive blanket licenses permitting reproduction of copyrighted materials.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-12 National Cardiovascular
Network Inc. (NCN)
 
9/28/93
  Health care Preferred provider
organization;
Joint venture

Facts: NCN proposed to establish a national network of cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and acute care hospitals. NCN will create a preferred provider organization of cardiac care specialists in 41 metropolitan areas to provide cardiac care to beneficiaries of large third-party payers such as insurers, unions and multi-site employers. The participants will agree to provide services at all-inclusive, global prices covering all hospitalization and physician expenses of plan beneficiaries.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-13 Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Association (PMA)
 
10/1/93
  Pharmaceuticals Maximum price agreement;
Trade association

Facts: The PMA, a trade association of more than 100 pharmaceutical companies, proposed to have participating member companies agree to limit the annual increase in the average change in the prices of their prescription drug products to a level not greater than the annual increase in the consumer price index. The program would not apply to the price of any individual product, and it would specifically exclude new products.

Response: Currently intends to bring suit to challenge the proposal if it is implemented.

93-14 The Health and Personal Care
Distribution Conference Inc.
(HPCDC)
 
10/13/93
  Health care;
Toiletries;
Transportation services
Information exchange;
Trade association

Facts: The HPCDC, a national trade association, proposed to undertake a voluntary data exchange program regarding the transportation of its members' health care products that are commonly sold in drug stores. HPCDC will contract with a third party to compile and publish aggregated averages of the data, including public tariffs paid by members for transportation.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-15 Saint Anthony Medical Center
 
11/8/93
  Health care Preferred provider
organization;
Joint venture

Facts: Saint Anthony Medical Center, a general acute care hospital, proposed to offer multi-provider preferred provider contracts to employers and other third-party payers. St. Anthony will enter into subcontracts with physicians and another hospital and will offer managed care contracts combining St. Anthony and the subcontracting providers as joint preferred providers. All of the subcontracts will be non-exclusive.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-16 The Western Railroad Traffic
Association (WRTA);
Consolidated Rail Corporation;
CSX Corporation
 
11/8/93
  Railroad services Information exchange

Facts: WRTA, Consolidated Rail Corporation and CSX Corporation proposed that WRTA accept and publish any railroad's rate changes and communicate rate changes proposed by one railroad for freight movements that use its system but originate or end on another system.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal for information exchange on joint-line rates; but declined to review the parties' proposal for WRTA to perform other price collection and dissemination functions that appeared to involve on-going conduct.

93-17 Household Goods Forwarders
Association of America, Inc.
(HHGFAA)
 
11/12/93
  Household goods forwarders;
Transportation services
Trade association

Facts: HHGFAA proposed to regulate its membership by excluding firms that have a poor credit history.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-18 South Suburban Bar
Association
 
11/15/93
  Legal services Information exchange

Facts: A local bar association proposed to conduct a survey of rates and fees charged by its members in 15 areas of law.

Response: Declined to state current enforcement intentions.

93-19 American Society of Travel
Agents Inc. (ASTA)
 
11/23/93
 

Airline services;
Railroad services;
Tourism;
Transportation services;

Standards program;
Trade association

Facts: ASTA proposed to establish guidelines intended to improve communications between travel agents and industry suppliers who provide air, hotel, car rental, cruise, rail and tour services. Adoption of the guidelines by any supplier will be voluntary, and suppliers will be free to set their own commission rates and policies.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-20 California Chiropractic
Association (CCA)
 
12/8/93
  Chiropractic services;
Health care
Managed care
organization;
Joint venture

Facts: The CCA proposed to form a statewide chiropractic managed care organization that would contract with third party payers at a capitated, or per subscriber, rate.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.

93-21 The Newspaper Association
of America
 
12/10/93
  Newspapers;
Advertising
Group sales;
Joint venture;
Trade association

Facts: The NAA, a trade association representing daily and weekly newspapers throughout the U.S., proposed to form the National Newspaper Network (NNN), a national newspaper network to sell advertising space to national advertisers.

Response: No present intention to challenge the proposal.