FTC penalizes founder of Omaha trucking firm Werner Enterprises

Government said he repeatedly violated antitrust laws
A Werner Enterprises truck travels on Interstate 680 west of Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, May 13,...
A Werner Enterprises truck travels on Interstate 680 west of Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, May 13, 2009.(Nati Harnik | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 12:14 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that the founder of Omaha-based truckload carrier Werner Enterprises, Inc. will pay a $486,900 civil penalty to settle charges over his acquisition of company stock.

The FTC said Clarence L. Werner violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act while he was a director of the company.

The FTC said the Act requires companies and individuals to report stock purchases over a certain threshold to the FTC and Department of Justice and then wait before closing the transaction so federal agencies can investigate potential competitive impacts.

The FTC’s Director of the Bureau Competition, Holly Vedova, said several of Werner’s acquisitions were large open-market purchases and, as director and active participant in the transactions, Werner should have realized that he might have to follow regulatory regulations and sought legal advice.

The government’s complaint said Werner exercised his stock options to acquire shares of Werner Inc. on May 14, 2007 without making the required filing. The acquisition combined with prior holdings of Werner Inc. caused Werner to cross the $100 million threshold required by the Act.

The FTC noted that Werner made more acquisitions that he did not report throughout 2009 and that he continued to do so on several occasions after that.

As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed settlement, along with a competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement during a 60-day comment period to Maribeth Petrizzi, Special Attorney, United States, c/o Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 bccompliance@ftc.gov. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia may approve the proposed settlement upon finding that it is in the public interest.

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