16 CFR § 2.1 - How initiated.
Commission investigations and inquiries may be originated upon the request of the President, Congress, governmental agencies, or the Attorney General; upon referrals by the courts; upon complaint by members of the public; or by the Commission upon its own initiative. The Commission has delegated to the Director, Deputy Directors, and Assistant Directors of the Bureau of Competition, the Director, Deputy Directors, and Associate Directors of the Bureau of Consumer Protection and, the Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors of the Commission's regional offices, without power of redelegation, limited authority to initiate investigations. The Director of the Bureau of Competition has also been delegated, without power of redelegation, authority to open investigations in response to requests pursuant to an agreement under the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act, 15 U.S.C. 6201 et seq., if the requests do not ask the Commission to use process. Before responding to such a request, the Bureau Director shall transmit the proposed response to the Secretary and the Secretary shall notify the Commission of the proposed response. If no Commissioner objects within three days following the Commission's receipt of such notification, the Secretary shall inform the Bureau Director that he or she may proceed.