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BRIEFLY

Consumer Products

February 07, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sara Lee to Pay $3.1-Million Fine: The multinational consumer packaged-goods company agreed to pay the largest such civil penalty ever for failing to inform government antitrust investigators in advance of its 1991 acquisition of a line of shoe care products. The Chicago-based company's Kiwi Brands subsidiary had 90% of the U.S. market for shoe polish sold through mass marketers in 1991. In that year, Sara Lee Corp. acquired the U.S. and British shoe care products of London-based Reckitt & Colman. In a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court, the Justice Department said Sara Lee tried to avoid antitrust scrutiny by failing to advise either the department or the Federal Trade Commission of the deal in advance, as required by law.

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