(3) The publication of the companies' confidential arrangements with their customers is likely to cause strenuous objections from those customers and disrupt customer relationships.
(4) The companies provided this information to USCS with the express understanding that it would remain confidential. If the information is released, these companies would be most reluctant to provide similar information to USCS in the future.
The Court finds these arguments persuasive. The release of the pre-January 1, 1973 information is likely to cause the same type of injuries which the release of the post-January 1, 1973 information would cause. It would allow competitors to discern the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing strategies of these companies and target their weak points for attack. Competitors also could imitate the successful policies of these companies. Further, customer relations likely would be disrupted by the breach of confidentiality and increased competition from competitors. The Court is no longer persuaded by plaintiff's argument that this "old" information is too antiquated and fragmented to be of use. The Court finds that it is likely that release of the pre-1973 information would (1) cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the companies from which it was obtained, and (2) impair the government's ability to obtain similar necessary information in the future.
In accordance with the above reasoning, the Court withholds the pre-1973 information pursuant to Exemption 4. An appropriate order is attached hereto.
Upon consideration of the defendants' motion for reconsideration and the opposition thereto and the entire record herein, it is by the Court this 22nd day of April 1981,
ORDERED that defendants' motion is granted; it is further
ORDERED that this Court's order of February 26, 1981 is vacated to the extent that judgment was in part granted to the plaintiff and information in documents 1-7, 10-12, 15-17, 19, 21-27, 30-33, 35 and 36 was ordered released; it is further
ORDERED that judgment for the defendants is granted in that all documents subject to this suit have been lawfully and properly withheld; and it is further
ORDERED that this case is dismissed.
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