Proposed consent agreement.
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.
Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2012.
Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “AABCSP, Inc.,—consent, FTC File No. 112 3168” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/abcspconsent, by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
David R. Spiegel, (202-326-3281), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.
Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 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 September 17, 2012), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. 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.
You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before October 17, 2012. “Write AABCSP, Inc.,—consent, FTC File No. 112 3168” on your comment. Your comment B including your name and your state B 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 obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential,” as provided 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).
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/abcspconsent 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 “ABCSP, Inc.,—consent, FTC File No. 112 3168” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment
The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from ABCSP, Inc. (“ABC” or “respondent”).
The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt 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 the proposed order final.
The matter involves certain statements ABC has made in Internet advertising regarding its placement services for seniors requiring long term care in assisted living facilities (“ALFs”) and other non-nursing home facilities servicing the frail elderly. According to the Commission's complaint, ABC made false and unsubstantiated claims that it, or its care coordinators, view or evaluate virtually all or a substantial majority of such facilities in every geographic region of the United States. Thus, the complaint states that ABC has engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.
The proposed order contains two provisions designed to prevent ABC, or other persons who are in active concert or participation with it, from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I.A prohibits respondent from misrepresenting or making unsubstantiated representations that it, or its agents, personally view, inspect, or monitor assisted living facilities, including representations that it personally views, inspects, or monitors any particular number, portion, or percentage of ALFs in a geographic region.
Part I.B prohibits ABC from making any false or unsubstantiated representations regarding its placement services.
Parts II through V require ABC to: Keep copies of advertisements and materials relied upon in disseminating any representation covered by the order; provide copies of the order to certain personnel, agents, and representatives having supervisory responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of the order; notify the Commission of changes in its structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and file a compliance report with the Commission and respond to other requests from FTC staff. Part VI 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. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or the proposed order, or to modify the proposed order's terms in any way.
By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
[FR Doc. 2012-23413 Filed 9-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P