FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AT
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 1995                          (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The leading flowers-by-wire company,
Florists' Transworld Delivery Inc., commonly known as FTD, 
agreed today to stop promoting an incentive program that steered
florists away from using competing floral wire services after the
Department of Justice charged that the anticompetitive program
violated a 1990 consent decree.
     The 1990 consent decree prohibited FTD from exploiting its
position to induce florists to forgo membership in competing wire
associations.  The Department said that FTD Inc., a corporate
successor to FTD, violated the consent decree by promoting its
incentive program called "FTD Only."
     The Department's Antitrust Division filed its petition today
in U.S. District Court in Detroit against the three corporate
successors to FTD--Florists' Transworld Delivery Inc., FTD
Association and FTD Corporation.  
     Under the settlement agreed to by the parties, FTD Inc. will
stop its practice of inducing member florists to use its floral
wire service exclusively, and will not adopt any similar program
in the future.  
     Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of
the Antitrust Division, emphasized the importance of this action
--both in fixing this violation and in warning other defendants
that are covered by antitrust consent decrees.  "The Department
expects all parties bound by court-ordered judgments to obey
those judgments.  We will act swiftly and surely to see that
violations of existing judgements are promptly rectified," she
     FTD, a Detroit-based, member owned, non-profit cooperative
of retail florists, has been the leader in the flowers-by-wire
industry since its founding in 1910.  Its "Mercury Man" logo is
recognized by consumers everywhere.  FTD also developed and
operated the Mercury Network, a one-of-a-kind computerized
telecommunications system for the transmission of flowers-by-wire
orders.  FTD's clearinghouse service, which settles accounts
among member florists that place and fill flowers-by-wire orders,
competes with several other clearinghouses.  However, all these
clearinghouses use FTD's Mercury Network.
     In 1956, the Department sued to block FTD's attempts to
prevent its member florists from doing business with rival
flowers-by-wire clearinghouses.  The Department sued FTD again in
1969 for other anticompetitive conduct.  Both suits were resolved
through consent decrees entered by the U.S. District Court in
     In 1990, the court consolidated and modified the decrees. 
The 1990 modified final judgment specified that while FTD could
compete aggressively for wire orders, it could not exploit its
position to induce florists to forgo membership in competing wire
associations.  FTD continued to be prohibited from following any
course of conduct "having the purpose or effect of restricting or
limiting [its] membership to florists who were not members of any
other wire association."  The Department's petition charges that
the three respondents violated that provision.
     FTD was bought by the predecessor of FTD Corporation on
December 19, 1994.  This privately financed organization
proceeded to split FTD into two pieces--FTD Inc., a for profit
corporation, and FTD Association, a non-profit trade association. 
FTD Inc. took over FTD's businesses, including the Mercury
Network and the clearinghouse, while retaining control over FTD
Association's rules, regulations, and bylaws.  
     Today's action will settle The Department's charges that the
three respondents' conduct violated the 1990 modified final
judgment, and will assure present and future compliance with the
     Bingaman said that the charges arose from an investigation
by the Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C.  
     Although it is not required under federal law, the Division
will seek the public's input in this case and will publish the
proposed enforcement order in the Federal Register.  Any person
may submit written comments concerning the proposed order during
a 60-day comment period to Christopher J. Kelly, Acting Chief,
Civil Task Force I, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of
Justice, 325 7th Street, N.W., Room 400, Washington, D.C.  20530