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(June 21, 2001) -- The Justice Department approved a request to expand a program that shares information about consumers who repeatedly order merchandise and then claim never to have received it.

The Promotion Marketing Association had sought the Justice Department's opinion to avoid antitrust issues regarding sharing the claims information with competing marketers. The association said a database showing a pattern of false claims for different marketers is often important in persuading law enforcement officials to bring cases against seemingly small-value cases of mail-order fraud.

The association said it would also take steps to ensure subscribers to the service would get information only about repeated abusers and not any "competitively significant" information. -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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