15 U.S. Code § 1312 - Civil investigative demands
(a) Issuance; service; production of material; testimony
Whenever the Attorney General, or the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, has reason to believe that any person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material, or may have any information, relevant to a civil antitrust investigation or, with respect to the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 [15 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.], an investigation authorized by section 3 of such Act [15 U.S.C. 6202], he may, prior to the institution of a civil or criminal proceeding by the United States thereon, issue in writing, and cause to be served upon such person, a civil investigative demand requiring such person to produce such documentary material for inspection any copying or reproduction, to answer in writing written interrogatories, to give oral testimony concerning documentary material or information, or to furnish any combination of such material, answers, or testimony. Whenever a civil investigative demand is an express demand for any product of discovery, the Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division shall cause to be served, in any manner authorized by this section, a copy of such demand upon the person from whom the discovery was obtained and notify the person to whom such demand is issued of the date on which such copy was served.
(b) Contents; return date for demand for product of discovery
Each such demand shall—
(1) state the nature of—
(B) the activities in preparation for a merger, acquisition, joint venture, or similar transaction, which, if consummated, may result in an antitrust violation,
which are under investigation and the provision of law applicable thereto;
(2) if it is a demand for production of documentary material—
(A) describe the class or classes of documentary material to be produced thereunder with such definiteness and certainty as to permit such material to be fairly identified;
(B) prescribe a return date or dates which will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction; and
(3) if it is a demand for answers to written interrogatories—
(B) prescribe a date or dates at which time answers to written interrogatories shall be submitted; and
(4) if it is a demand for the giving of oral testimony—
(B) identify an antitrust investigator who shall conduct the examination and the custodian to whom the transcript of such examination shall be submitted.
Any such demand which is an express demand for any product of discovery shall not be returned or returnable until twenty days after a copy of such demand has been served upon the person from whom the discovery was obtained.
(c) Protected material or information; demand for product of discovery superseding disclosure restrictions except trial preparation materials
(1) No such demand shall require the production of any documentary material, the submission of any answers to written interrogatories, or the giving of any oral testimony, if such material, answers, or testimony would be protected from disclosure under—
(A) the standards applicable to subpenas or subpenas duces tecum issued by a court of the United States in aid of a grand jury investigation, or
(2) Any such demand which is an express demand for any product of discovery supersedes any inconsistent order, rule, or provision of law (other than this chapter) preventing or restraining disclosure of such product of discovery to any person. Disclosure of any product of discovery pursuant to any such express demand does not constitute a waiver of any right or privilege, including without limitation any right or privilege which may be invoked to resist discovery of trial preparation materials, to which the person making such disclosure may be entitled.
(d) Service; jurisdiction
(1) Any such demand may be served by any antitrust investigator, or by any United States marshal or deputy marshal, at any place within the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States.
(2) any such demand or any petition filed under section 1314 of this title may be served upon any person who is not to be found within the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States, in such manner as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe for service in a foreign country. To the extent that the courts of the United States can assert jurisdiction over such person consistent with due process, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action respecting compliance with this chapter by such person that such court would have if such person were personally within the jurisdiction of such court.
(e) Service upon legal entities and natural persons
(1) Service of any such demand or of any petition filed under section 1314 of this title may be made upon a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity by—
(A) delivering a duly executed copy thereof to any partner, executive officer, managing agent, or general agent thereof, or to any agent thereof authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on behalf of such partnership, corporation, association, or entity;
(B) delivering a duly executed copy thereof to the principal office or place of business of the partnership, corporation, association, or entity to be served; or
(2) Service of any such demand or of any petition filed under section 1314 of this title may be made upon any natural person by—
(f) Proof of service
A verified return by the individual serving any such demand or petition setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of such service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, such return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of delivery of such demand.
(g) Sworn certificates
The production of documentary material in response to a demand served pursuant to this section shall be made under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by the person, if a natural person, to whom the demand is directed or, if not a natural person, by a person or persons having knowledge of the facts and circumstances relating to such production, to the effect that all of the documentary material required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed has been produced and made available to the custodian.
Each interrogatory in a demand served pursuant to this section shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for the objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer, and it shall be submitted under a sworn certificate, in such form as the demand designates, by the person, if a natural person, to whom the demand is directed or, if not a natural person, by a person or persons responsible for answering each interrogatory, to the effect that all information required by the demand and in the possession, custody, control, or knowledge of the person to whom the demand is directed has been submitted.
(i) Oral examinations
(1) The examination of any person pursuant to a demand for oral testimony served under this section shall be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held. The officer before whom the testimony is to be taken shall put the witness on oath or affirmation and shall personally, or by someone acting under his direction and in his presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically and transcribed. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the officer before whom the testimony is taken shall promptly transmit a copy of the transcript of the testimony to the custodian.
(2) The antitrust investigator or investigators conducting the examination shall exclude from the place where the examination is held all other persons except the person being examined, his counsel, the officer before whom the testimony is to be taken, and any stenographer taking such testimony. The provisions of section 30  of this title shall not apply to such examinations.
(3) The oral testimony of any person taken pursuant to a demand served under this section shall be taken in the judicial district of the United States within which such person resides, is found, or transacts business, or in such other place as may be agreed upon by the antitrust investigator conducting the examination and such person.
(4) When the testimony is fully transcribed, the antitrust investigator or the officer shall afford the witness (who may be accompanied by counsel) a reasonable opportunity to examine the transcript; and the transcript shall be read to or by the witness, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered and identified upon the transcript by the officer or the antitrust investigator with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making such changes. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness, unless the witness in writing waives the signing, is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign. If the transcript is not signed by the witness within thirty days of his being afforded a reasonable opportunity to examine it, the officer or the antitrust investigator shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver, illness, absence of the witness, or the refusal to sign, together with the reason, if any, given therefor.
(5) The officer shall certify on the transcript that the witness was duly sworn by him and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the witness, and the officer or antitrust investigator shall promptly deliver it or send it by registered or certified mail to the custodian.
(6) Upon payment of reasonable charges therefor, the antitrust investigator shall furnish a copy of the transcript to the witness only, except that the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division may for good cause limit such witness to inspection of the official transcript of his testimony.
(A) Any person compelled to appear under a demand for oral testimony pursuant to this section may be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel. Counsel may advise such person, in confidence, either upon the request of such person or upon counsel’s own initiative, with respect to any question asked of such person. Such person or counsel may object on the record to any question, in whole or in part, and shall briefly state for the record the reason for the objection. An objection may properly be made, received, and entered upon the record when it is claimed that such person is entitled to refuse to answer the question on grounds of any constitutional or other legal right or privilege, including the privilege against self-incrimination. Such person shall not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and shall not by himself or through counsel otherwise interrupt the oral examination. If such person refuses to answer any question, the antitrust investigator conducting the examination may petition the district court of the United States pursuant to section 1314 of this title for an order compelling such person to answer such question.
 See References in Text note below.
Source(Pub. L. 87–664, § 3,Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 548; Pub. L. 94–435, title I, § 102,Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1384; Pub. L. 96–349, § 2(b)(1)–(3), Sept. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 1154; Pub. L. 103–438, § 3(e)(1)(B),Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4598.)
References in Text
The International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 103–438, Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4597, which is classified principally to chapter 88 (§ 6201 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6201 of this title and Tables.
This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (c)(1)(B), (2) and (d), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 87–664, which is classified generally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1311 of this title and Tables.
Section 30 of this title, referred to in subsec. (i)(2), was repealed by Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title IV, § 14102(f),Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1922.
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–438inserted “or, with respect to the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994, an investigation authorized by section 3 of such Act” after “investigation” and “by the United States” after “proceeding”.
1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–349, § 2(b)(1), inserted provision for service and notice of a civil investigative demand for any product of discovery.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–349, § 2(b)(2), inserted provision respecting time demand for product of discovery is returnable.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–349, § 2(b)(3), designated existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated as cls. (A) and (B) former cls. (1) and (2), and added par. (2).
1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–435struck out “under investigation” before “may be in possession”, inserted “or may have any information” after “any documentary material”, and inserted provision requiring the production of documentary material for inspection or reproduction, answers in writing to written interrogatories, the giving of oral testimony concerning documentary material or information, and the furnishing of any combination of such material, answers, or testimony.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–435restructured subsec. (b) and as so restructured, in par. (1) inserted provisions of cl. (B), in par. (2), added cls. (B) and (C), in par. (3) substituted provisions relating to written interrogatories for provisions relating to prescription of a return date for demanded material, and in par. (4), substituted provisions relating to oral testimony for provisions requiring a demand to identify the custodian to whom demanded material shall be made available.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–435inserted provision relating to the submission of answers to written interrogatories and the giving of oral testimony, struck out provisions of par. (1) relating to the reasonableness requirement for demands for documentary material, redesignated par. (2) as (1) and provided that protected status of any information or material would be determined by standards applicable in the case of a subpena or subpena duces tecum issued by a court of the United States, and added par. (2).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–435redesignated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 94–435redesignated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted “return receipt requested” after “certified mail” in par. (C), and added par. (2).
Subsecs. (g) to (i). Pub. L. 94–435added subsecs. (g) to (i).
Effective Date of 1976 Amendment