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FTC Reaches Advertising Settlement With 50 Auto Dealers, Dealer Groups

August 19, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with 50 Detroit area car dealerships and related individuals and associations to keep them from illegally restricting auto advertising.

The agreement settles FTC charges that the dealers conspired not to advertise in the classified sections of newspapers and not to advertise vehicle prices at all, but it does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing.

The commission’s action approves a tentative agreement between FTC lawyers and the dealers, and will be subject to public comment for 60 days before becoming final.

The agreement, which covers various Chevrolet, Cadillac and Chrysler- Plymouth dealerships, associations and individuals, also would prohibit them from trying to persuade or coerce dealers to restrict auto advertising.

The FTC had charged that the plan to limit advertising was designed to restrict competition among Detroit area dealers. The commission said limited advertising reduced consumers’ access to information about auto prices and increased dealers’ ability to maintain higher prices.

While the consent agreement resolves FTC complaints about auto advertising in the Detroit area, still pending is a charge that 200 dealers and related groups and individuals illegally conspired to limit night and weekend showroom hours.

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