THE FTC PUTS ITS FOOT DOWN AS A CYBERSPACE COP; NORTHWEST GROUNDS TWO-WAY VIDEO; RAMADA ADDS IN-ROOM INFO SERVICE; OTHER NEWS:

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The Federal Trade Commission flexed its ad-regulating muscle in cyberspace for the first time last week, charging a Sacramento, Calif., company with making false claims on America Online for a credit-repair service. The FTC also obtained a temporary injunction barring the allegedly deceptive promotion and freezing the assets of Chase Consulting for consumer redress. Chase invited consumers to completely overhaul their credit records for $99, the FTC said, and instructed them to do so in an illegal manner, by using a taxpayer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service in lieu of a Social Security number. FTC Chairman Janet Steiger, noting the groundbreaking significance of the commission's action, said the FTC "will not tolerate the use of deceptive practices here any more than we have tolerated them on other recently emerged technologies for marketing products and services to consumers."

Northwest Airlines for now is dropping plans to deliver interactive video entertainment services for passengers on international flights. The Minneapolis-based carrier hasn't had much luck with the interactive WorldLink system, currently installed on nine Boeing 747s. "It's proven to be a complex system functionally and hasn't hit the level of reliability that we must have," said a Northwest spokesman. The airline will continue to work with Hughes-Avicom on personal video entertainment systems without interactivity-until Hughes-Avicom can deliver better reliability.

Bell Atlantic Electronic Publishing next month will expand its InfoTravel hotel room information system to the Ramada Hotel in Dunwoody, Ga., an Atlanta suburb. Guests will be able to find shops, make restaurant reservations and get information about local events, including the 1996 Summer Olympics. More than 200 local and national advertisers are participating in the project, a partnership among Bell Atlantic, Video Concierge Interactive and Scripps Howard Cable TV. InfoTravel has been available in the Santa Clara Marriott in California since April.

AT&T opened a domain on the Internet, offering downloadable ads, information on AT&T products and a sweepstakes. AT&T worked with On Ramp, New York, to establish the site. ... Prodigy Services Co., White Plains, N.Y., named Robert Shapiro to a new corporate strategy post, from senior VP-commercial marketing. Louise Cooper was named executive director, commercial marketing, from director.

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