The Federal Trade Commission today published in the Federal Register final rule amendments to Rule 3.11A, which allows for expedited treatment of certain administrative adjudications before the agency. The amendments expand the conditions under which the "fast- track" procedures may be used in certain FTC adjudicatory proceedings and clarify that the rule may be used in both competition and consumer protection cases, as indicated when the rule was originally promulgated. Public comments about the final rule will be accepted for 30 days, until March 16, 1998.
The expedited procedures first became available in September 1996, and originally allowed respondents in certain Commission adjudicatory proceedings to elect to use "fast-track" procedures only after a federal court granted a preliminary injunction in a related proceeding brought by the agency. The amendment expands the availability of the expedited procedure to include certain cases in which the agency determines that the record from the federal court proceeding "is likely materially to facilitate" resolution of the administrative case.
The amendment also clarifies the conditions under which the fast-track option will be offered in light of the broadened circumstances under which it is available.
The Commission vote to approve the final rule was 4-0, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga not participating.
Copies of the Federal Register notice and additional information about the "fast- track" procedure are available from the FTC’s web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-3128; TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202- 326-2710.