The Federal Trade Commission today announced a variety of changes to its Rules of Practice, some of which govern the procedures and timing for companies and individuals seeking to postpone the effective date of FTC orders against them. The rule revisions implement the 1994 amendments to the FTC Act which, among other things, made Commission orders (except for provisions requiring divestiture) effective 60 days after they are served on respondents and gave the FTC several new law-enforcement tools, including expanded authority to gather evidence in its investigations.
The rule changes, which are effective immediately, will be published in tomorrow's Federal Register.
Under the new rules, parties seeking to stay Commission orders, issued after the conclusion of an administrative trial, must submit their applications within 30 days after being served with the order. Applications must state the reasons for the stay and must address the respondent's likelihood of success on appeal, the consequences of granting or denying the stay to the respondents and others, and why the stay is in the public interest.
If the Commission does not grant a stay within 30 days after parties file an application, the parties may file a petition for review in the court to which they have appealed the Commission order. The new rules also clarify that filing an application or a petition for review does not delay the deadlines for respondents to file reports regarding their compliance with Commission orders.
Other rule changes announced today implement the extension of the Commission's authority to issue civil investigative demands for tangible items and to issue civil investigative demands in antitrust investigations.
Although the rule revisions are effective immediately, the FTC welcomes public comment on them and will consider further revision as appropriate. Comments should be addressed to FTC, the Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
The Commission vote to amend its rules was 5-0.
Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, same address as above; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov
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(FTC Matter No. P859907)