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Soyo, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed consent agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or 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 May 29, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Soyo, Inc., File No. 062 3094,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room 159-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). 16 CFR 4.9(c) (2005).[1] The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form as part of or as an attachment to e-mail messages directed to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at http://www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Linda K. Badger, FTC Western Regional Office, 901 Market Street, Suite 570, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 848-5100.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 of the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a 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 April 27, 2007), on the Start Printed Page 24587World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2007/​04/​index.htm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Soyo, Inc. (“Soyo”). Soyo, located in Ontario, California, is a distributor of computer-related hardware and other consumer electronics products.

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for reception of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter concerns cash rebate offers that Soyo advertised to consumers. The complaint alleges that Soyo engaged in deceptive practices relating to these rebate offers. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Soyo falsely represented that: (1) Rebates would be mailed within a reasonable period of time after receipt of a consumer's valid request, (2) within ten to twelve weeks after receipt of a consumer's valid request, and (3) within ten to twelve weeks of the last date on which a valid request could be postmarked. The complaint alleges that thousands of consumers who submitted valid requests for rebates since 2004 experienced substantial, unreasonable delays, including delays of one year or longer. It is further alleged that from October 2004 to March 2006, over 95 percent of respondent's rebate checks were delivered later than twelve weeks after the last date on which a valid request could be postmarked, with an average delivery time of approximately 24 weeks.

The proposed order contains provisions designed to prevent Soyo from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed order prohibits Soyo from misrepresenting the time in which any rebate will be mailed and from failing to provide any rebate within the time specified, or if no time is specified, within thirty days. This provision also prohibits the company from misrepresenting any material terms of any rebate program, including the status of or reasons for any delay in providing any rebate. Part II of the proposed order is a redress provision which requires Soyo to pay all valid rebate requests to consumers who purchased Soyo products and whose rebates are past due. This provision also requires Soyo to send a rebate to any eligible purchaser who contacts it or the FTC for a period of seventy-five (75) days after service of the order.

Parts III through VI of the proposed order are reporting and compliance provisions. Part VII provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. E7-8402 Filed 5-2-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P