FTC's Bureau of Competition Offers Guidance on Obtaining an Advisory Opinion

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The Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission has developed a guidance document for those considering filing a request for an advisory opinion from the FTC or its staff on competition topics.

Under the FTC’s Rules of Practice, the Commission or its staff may offer industry guidance in the form of an advisory opinion, in response to a request involving a proposed course of conduct. The Rules prescribe requirements for requesting an advisory opinion, limitations on its issuance and application, and the timing for placing both the request and its associated advisory opinion on the public record. The Rules also explain how to request confidential treatment for submitted materials.

The new guidance adds additional information, including practice tips for advisory opinion requesters, based upon the years of experience of Bureau staff in reviewing requests for competition advisory opinions. It supplements a guidance document previously posted to help people considering seeking an advisory opinion relating specifically to healthcare matters. Advisory opinions issued by the agency or its staff on competition topics can be found on the FTC’s website.

Copies of the guidance are available from the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(FYI Advisories.2011.wpd)

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