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INTERCO, INC. v. FTC

April 12, 1979

Interco, Inc. et al.
v.
Federal Trade Commission, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

PRATT, D.J.: This matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs seek to restrain the disclosure to twenty-two state attorneys general of certain data submitted by plaintiffs to defendant Federal Trade Commission (hereinafter "the Commission") during the course of Commission investigations into the footwear and apparel industries.

This action commenced on September 6, 1978, when plaintiffs brought suit under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331(a), 1337, 1651, and 2201-2202 and 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706 in the Eastern District of Missouri. Plaintiffs also, on that date, sought a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against defendants. The TRO was granted and venue was subsequently transferred to this Court. On January 3, 1979, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction, at which time the parties agreed to a briefing schedule on plaintiffs' motion and the Commission agreed to withhold the documents at issue until a hearing on the motion was held. Plaintiffs filed their memorandum in support of the motion for preliminary injunction on January 31; defendants filed their opposition on February 23.

 In the interim, several state attorneys general moved for intervention pursuant to Rule 24(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants responded by requesting the Court to grant leave to the states to intervene pursuant to Rule 24(b). The Court has so ordered.

 On January 25, plaintiffs served defendants with interrogatories and a request for production. Defendants moved for a protective order and for an immediate hearing on plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. On March 14, this Court stayed discovery absent further order of the Court and set a hearing on the preliminary injunction for March 27, 1979. On March 22, plaintiffs filed a motion to compel discovery and to reset the hearing date. These motions were denied on March 23, whereupon plaintiffs subpoenaed the General Counsel for the Commission to appear at the March 27th hearing. Defendants filed, on March 26, a motion to quash the subpoena, which the Court granted.

 Thus, three matters were before the Court at the March 27th hearing: (1) the motions to intervene by the state attorneys general., (2) defendants' motion to quash; and (3) plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs presented one witness at the hearing, Geoffrey Bloom Vice-President for Marketing, Florsheim Shoes. Having considered the motions, supporting and opposing memoranda, oral arguments of counsel, and the entire record herein, the Court now enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiff Interco, Inc., is a Delaware corporation engaged in, inter alia, the manufacture and sale, at wholesale and retail, of wearing apparel and footwear.

 2. Plaintiff Londontown is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Interco, engaged in the manufacture and sale of rainwear and outerwear.

 3. Plaintiff Queen Casuals is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Interco, engaged in the manufacture and sale of women's sportswear

 4. Plaintiff Florsheim Shoe Co., is a division of Interco engaged in the manufacture and sale of men's footwear.

 5. Defendant Federal Trade Commission is an independent regulatory agency of the U.S. Government. The documents herein at issue are under the custody and control of the Commission.

 6. Defendant Carol M. Thomas is the Secretary of the Commission.

 7. Defendant Michael N. Sohn is General Counsel of ...


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