The Federal Trade Commission announced today a revision to its policy concerning public disclosure of its nonmerger investigations. The revised policy would permit limited disclosures about nonmerger investigations where: (1) a target has publicly disclosed the relevant information in either a press release or a filing with a government agency; or (2) the investigation or the practice has received substantial publicity and the disclosure does not identify a target that has not already disclosed its own identity. Reporters or others seeking information about the existence of a FTC investigation should contact the FTC's Office of Public Affairs at 202-326-2180.
The revised policy is effective immediately. The Commission will, however, accept comments on the policy that are received on or before December 14 and may re-evaluate the policy in light of those comments.
The Commission underscored that the revised policy would permit only limited disclosures of its nonmerger investigations. In general, Commission policy is to hold confidential the existence and targets of law enforcement investigations until the Commission issues an administrative complaint, authorizes or files a judicial complaint, announces a proposed settlement, or closes a matter. The Commission vote in this matter was 4-0.
Copies of the Federal Register notice announcing the new policy are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); 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.
(FTC File No. P859907)