Lesser Count Dropped Against Detroit Car Dealers
DETROIT (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission has withdrawn one of two antitrust charges against Detroit-area auto dealers, a move a dealers’ spokesman called a victory for his group.
The charge was withdrawn Wednesday under a consent agreement between the FTC and the defendants, FTC spokeswoman Susan Picknor said.
The charge alleged conspiracy by some Chevrolet, Chrysler-Plymouth and Cadillac dealers and dealer groups to restrict the advertising of car and truck prices, she said.
″What you have here is an admission that they don’t have a case against us,″ Daniel Hayes, vice president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, said at a news conference in the Detroit suburb of Troy.
But Picknor said the action did not affect the major charge, filed against 115 people, 105 dealerships and 19 dealer organizations for allegedly agreeing to close on Saturdays and most evenings. Trial was scheduled to begin July 10 over that charge.
Details of the consent agreement were withheld by the FTC pending a review and vote by the agency’s five commissioners, she said.
However, the dealers association said the dealers agreed not to impose restrictions on classified advertising and price advertising, as the withdrawn charge had alleged, and they did so without admitting violation of any law.