By Eric Schweibenz
On December 17, 2013, ALJ Dee Lord issued Order No. 15 in Certain Multiple Mode Outdoor Grills and Parts Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-895).

According to the Order, Complainants A&J Manufacturing, LLC and A&J Manufacturing, Inc. (collectively, “A&J”) and Respondent HEB Grocery Company, LP, d/b/a/ H-E-B (“HEB”) filed a joint motion to terminate the investigation as to HEB based on a settlement agreement and entry of a consent order.  Additionally, the Parties requested a stay of the investigation as to HEB.

A&J and HEB stated that they contacted the other parties in the Investigation and stated that the other Respondents did not oppose the motion.  The Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) filed a response in support of the motion, stating that the motion included the required Stipulation and Proposed Consent Order, complied with Commission Rules 210.21(c)(3)(i) and (ii), and did not have any terms beyond, or materially inconsistent with, those provided for in Commission Rule 210.21(c)(4).  OUII also stated that it was unaware of any information indicating that terminating the Investigation as to HEB would be contrary to public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or U.S. consumers. 

ALJ Lord denied A&J and HEB’s joint motion for failing to comply with Commission Rule 210.21(c).  ALJ Lord found that the Proposed Consent Order failed to comply with the requirements of 210.21(c)(4) by omitting the phrase “or to the extent permitted by the settlement agreement between complainant and respondent” that is required by Commission Rule 210.21(c)(4)(iii).  ALJ Lord also found that the Proposed Consent Order referenced the Settlement and Mutual Release Agreement, but did not contain the required statement regarding the disposition of existing U.S. inventories of the subject articles.  Finally, ALJ Lord found that the Proposed Consent Order used language substantively different from that specified in Commission Rule 210.21(c)(4)(x).  Accordingly, ALJ Lord denied A&J and HEB’s joint motion.