16 CFR 2.7 - Compulsory process in investigations.

§ 2.7 Compulsory process in investigations.
(a) In general. When the public interest warrants, the Commission may issue a resolution authorizing the use of compulsory process. The Commission or any Commissioner may, pursuant to a Commission resolution, issue a subpoena, or a civil investigative demand, directing the recipient named therein to appear before a designated representative at a specified time and place to testify or to produce documentary material, or both, and in the case of a civil investigative demand, to provide a written report or answers to questions, relating to any matter under investigation by the Commission. For the purposes of this subpart, the term:
(1) Electronically stored information (“ESI”) means any writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images and other data or data compilations stored in any electronic medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.
(2) “Documentary material” includes all documents, materials, and information, including ESI, within the meaning of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(3) “Compulsory process” means any subpoena, CID, access order, or order for a report issued by the Commission.
(4) “Protected status” refers to information or material that may be withheld from production or disclosure on the grounds of any privilege, work product protection, or statutory exemption.
(b) Civil Investigative Demands. Civil Investigative Demands (“CIDs”) shall be the only form of compulsory process issued in investigations with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices under section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (hereinafter referred to as “unfair or deceptive acts or practices”).
(1) CIDs for the production of documentary material, including ESI, shall describe each class of material to be produced with sufficient definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified, prescribe a return date providing a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction, and identify the Commission's custodian to whom such material shall be made available. Documentary material, including ESI, for which a CID has been issued shall be made available as prescribed in the CID. Such productions shall be made in accordance with the procedures prescribed by section 20(c)(11) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
(2) CIDs for tangible things, including electronic media, shall describe each class of tangible thing to be produced with sufficient definiteness and certainty as to permit each such thing to be fairly identified, prescribe a return date providing a reasonable period of time within which the things so demanded may be assembled and submitted, and identify the Commission's custodian to whom such things shall be submitted. Submission of tangible things in response to a CID shall be made in accordance with the procedures prescribed by section 20(c)(12) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
(3) CIDs for written reports or answers to questions shall propound with sufficient definiteness and certainty the reports to be produced or the questions to be answered, prescribe a return date, and identify the Commission's custodian to whom such reports or answers to questions shall be submitted. The submission of written reports or answers to questions in response to a CID shall be made in accordance with the procedures prescribed by section 20(c)(13) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
(4) CIDs for the giving of oral testimony shall prescribe a date, time, and place at which oral testimony shall commence, and identify the hearing official and the Commission custodian. Oral testimony in response to a CID shall be taken in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 20(c)(14) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
(c) Subpoenas. Except in investigations with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the Commission may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary material relating to any matter under investigation. Subpoenas for the production of documentary material, including ESI, shall describe each class of material to be produced with sufficient definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified, prescribe a return date providing a reasonable period of time for production, and identify the Commission's custodian to whom such material shall be made available. A subpoena may require the attendance of the witness or the production of documentary material at any place in the United States.
(d) Special reports. Except in investigations regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the Commission may issue an order requiring a person, partnership, or corporation to file a written report or answers to specific questions relating to any matter under investigation, study or survey, or under any of the Commission's reporting programs.
(e) Commission orders requiring access. Except in investigations regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the Commission may issue an order requiring any person, partnership, or corporation under investigation to grant access to their files, including electronic media, for the purpose of examination and to make copies.
(f) Investigational hearings.
(1) Investigational hearings may be conducted in the course of any investigation undertaken by the Commission, including rulemaking proceedings under subpart B of part 1 of this chapter, inquiries initiated for the purpose of determining whether a respondent is complying with an order of the Commission or to monitor performance under, and compliance with, a decree entered in suits brought by the United States under the antitrust laws, the development of facts in cases referred by the courts to the Commission as a master in chancery, and investigations made under section 5 of the Webb-Pomerene (Export Trade) Act.
(2) Investigational hearings shall be conducted by one or more Commission employees designated for the purpose of hearing the testimony of witnesses (the “hearing official”) and receiving documents and information relating to any subject under investigation. Such hearings shall be under oath or affirmation, stenographically recorded, and the transcript made a part of the record of the investigation. The Commission may, in addition, employ other means to record the hearing.
(3) Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, investigational hearings shall not be public. For investigational hearings conducted pursuant to a CID for the giving of oral testimony, the hearing official shall exclude from the hearing room all persons other than the person being examined, counsel for the person being examined, Commission staff, and any stenographer or other person recording such testimony. A copy of the transcript shall promptly be forwarded by the hearing official to the Commission custodian designated under § 2.16 of this part. At the discretion of the hearing official, and with the consent of the person being examined (or, in the case of an entity, its counsel), persons other than Commission staff, court reporters, and the hearing official may be present in the hearing room.
(g) Depositions. Except in investigations with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the Commission may order by subpoena a deposition pursuant to section 9 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, of any person, partnership, or corporation, at any stage of an investigation. The deposition shall take place upon notice to the subjects of the investigation, and the examination and cross-examination may proceed as they would at trial. Depositions shall be conducted by a hearing official, for the purpose of hearing the testimony of witnesses and receiving documents and information relating to any subject under investigation. Depositions shall be under oath or affirmation, stenographically recorded, and the transcript made a part of the record of the investigation. The Commission may, in addition, employ other means to record the deposition.
(h) Testimony from an entity. Where Commission compulsory process requires oral testimony from an entity, the compulsory process shall describe with reasonable particularity the matters for examination and the entity must designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or designate other persons who consent, to testify on its behalf. Unless a single individual is designated by the entity, the entity must designate in advance and in writing the matters on which each designee will testify. The persons designated must testify about information known or reasonably available to the entity and their testimony shall be binding upon the entity.
(i) Inspection, copying, testing, and sampling of documentary material, including electronic media. The Commission, through compulsory process, may require the production of documentary material, or electronic media or other tangible things, for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling.
(j) Manner and form of production of ESI. When Commission compulsory process requires the production of ESI, it shall be produced in accordance with the instructions provided by Commission staff regarding the manner and form of production. All instructions shall be followed by the recipient of the process absent written permission to the contrary from a Commission official identified in paragraph (l) of this section. Absent any instructions as to the form for producing ESI, ESI must be produced in the form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form.
(k) Mandatory pre-petition meet and confer process. Unless excused in writing or granted an extension of no more than 30 days by a Commission official identified in paragraph (l) of this section, a recipient of Commission compulsory process shall meet and confer with Commission staff within 14 days after receipt of process or before the deadline for filing a petition to quash, whichever is first, to discuss compliance and to address and attempt to resolve all issues, including issues relating to protected status and the form and manner in which claims of protected status will be asserted. The initial meet and confer session and all subsequent meet and confer sessions may be in person or by telephone. The recipient must make available personnel with the knowledge necessary for resolution of the issues relevant to compliance with compulsory process. Such personnel could include individuals knowledgeable about the recipient's information or records management systems, individuals knowledgeable about other relevant materials such as organizational charts, and persons knowledgeable about samples of material required to be produced. If any issues relate to ESI, the recipient shall have a person familiar with its ESI systems and methods of retrieval participate in the meeting. The Commission will not consider petitions to quash or limit absent a pre-filing meet and confer session with Commission staff and, absent extraordinary circumstances, will consider only issues raised during the meet and confer process.
(l) Delegations regarding CIDs and subpoenas. The Directors of the Bureau of Competition, Consumer Protection, or Economics, their Deputy Directors, the Assistant Directors of the Bureaus of Competition and Economics, the Associate Directors of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Regional Directors, and the Assistant Regional Directors are all authorized to modify and, in writing, approve the terms of compliance with all compulsory process, including subpoenas, CIDs, reporting programs, orders requiring reports, answers to questions, and orders requiring access. If a recipient of compulsory process has demonstrated satisfactory progress toward compliance, a Commission official identified in this paragraph may, at his or her discretion, extend the time for compliance with Commission compulsory process. The subpoena power conferred by section 329 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6299) and section 5 of the Webb-Pomerene (Export Trade) Act (15 U.S.C. 65) are specifically included within this delegation of authority.
[77 FR 59305, Sept. 27, 2012]

Title 16 published on 2014-01-01

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