16 CFR 2.41 - General compliance obligations and specific obligations regarding acquisitions and divestitures.
(a) In every proceeding in which the Commission has issued an order pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act or section 11 of the Clayton Act, as amended, and except as otherwise specifically provided in any such order, each respondent named in such order shall file with the Commission, within sixty (60) days after service thereof, or within such other time as may be provided by the order or the rules in this chapter, a report in writing, signed by the respondent, setting forth in detail the manner and form of his compliance with the order, and shall thereafter file with the Commission such further signed, written reports of compliance as it may require. An original and one copy of each such report shall be filed with the Secretary of the Commission, and one copy of each such report shall be filed with the Associate Director for Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection (for consumer protection orders) or with the Assistant Director for Compliance in the Bureau of Competition (for competition orders). Reports of compliance shall be under oath if so requested. Where the order prohibits the use of a false advertisement of a food, drug, device, or cosmetic which may be injurious to health because of results from its use under the conditions prescribed in the advertisement, or under such conditions as are customary or usual, or if the use of such advertisement is with intent to defraud or mislead, or in any other case where the circumstances so warrant, the order may provide for an interim report stating whether and how respondents intend to comply to be filed within ten (10) days after service of the order. Neither the filing of an application for stay pursuant to § 3.56, nor the filing of a petition for judicial review, shall operate to postpone the time for filing a compliance report under the order or this section. If the Commission, or a court, determines to grant a stay of an order, or portion thereof, pending judicial review, or if any order provision is automatically stayed by statute, no compliance report shall be due as to those portions of the order that are stayed unless ordered by the court. Thereafter, as to orders, or portions thereof, that are stayed, the time for filing a report of compliance shall begin to run de novo from the final judicial determination, except that if no petition for certiorari has been filed following affirmance of the order of the Commission by a court of appeals, the compliance report shall be due the day following the date on which the time expires for the filing of such petition. Staff of the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection will review such reports of compliance and may advise each respondent whether the staff intends to recommend that the Commission take any enforcement action. The Commission may, however, institute proceedings, including certification of facts to the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of section 5(l) of the Federal Trade Commission Act ( 15 U.S.C. 45(l)) and section 11(1) of the Clayton Act, as amended ( 15 U.S.C. 21(1)), to enforce compliance with an order, without advising a respondent whether the actions set forth in a report of compliance evidence compliance with the Commission's order or without prior notice of any kind to a respondent.
(b) The Commission has delegated to the Director, the Deputy Directors, and the Assistant Director for Compliance of the Bureau of Competition, and to the Director, the Deputy Directors, and the Associate Director for Enforcement of the Bureau of Consumer Protection the authority to monitor compliance reports and to open and close compliance investigations. With respect to any compliance matter which has received previous Commission consideration as to compliance or in which the Commission or any Commissioner has expressed an interest, any matter proposed to be closed by reason of expense of investigation or testing, or any matter involving substantial questions as to the public interest, Commission policy or statutory construction, the Bureaus shall submit an analysis to the Commission regarding their intended actions.
(c) The Commission has delegated to the Director, Deputy Directors, and Assistant Directors of the Bureau of Competition and to the Director, Deputy Directors, and Associate Directors of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and to the Regional Directors, the authority, for good cause shown, to extend the time within which reports of compliance with orders to cease and desist may be filed. It is to be noted, however, that an extension of time within which a report of compliance may be filed, or the filing of a report which does not evidence full compliance with the order, does not in any circumstances suspend or relieve a respondent from his obligation under the law with respect to compliance with such order. An order of the Commission to cease and desist becomes final on the date and under the conditions provided in the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act. Any person, partnership or corporation against which an order to cease and desist has been issued who is not in full compliance with such order on and after the date provided in these statutes for the order to become final is in violation of such order and is subject to an immediate action for civil penalties. The authority under this paragraph may not be redelegated, except that the Associate Director for Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Assistant Director for Compliance in the Bureau of Competition may each name a designee under this paragraph.
(d) Any respondent subject to a Commission order may request advice from the Commission as to whether a proposed course of action, if pursued by it, will constitute compliance with such order. The request for advice should be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Commission and should include full and complete information regarding the proposed course of action. On the basis of the facts submitted, as well as other information available to the Commission, the Commission will inform the respondent whether or not the proposed course of action, if pursued, would constitute compliance with its order. A request ordinarily will be considered inappropriate for such advice:
(1) Where the course of action is already being followed by the requesting party;
(2) Where the same or substantially the same course of action is under investigation or is or has been the subject of a current proceeding, order, or decree initiated or obtained by the Commission or another governmental agency; or
(3) Where the proposed course of action or its effects may be such that an informed decision thereon cannot be made or could be made only after extensive investigation, clinical study, testing or collateral inquiry.
(e) The Commission may at any time reconsider any advice given under this section and, where the public interest requires, rescind or revoke its prior advice. In such event the respondent will be given notice of the Commission's intent to revoke or rescind and will be given an opportunity to submit its views to the Commission. The Commission will not proceed against a respondent for violation of an order with respect to any action which was taken in good faith reliance upon the Commission's advice under this section, where all relevant facts were fully, completely, and accurately presented to the Commission and where such action was promptly discontinued upon notification of rescission or revocation of the Commission's advice.
(1) All applications for approval of proposed divestitures, acquisitions, or similar transactions subject to Commission review under outstanding orders (including modifications to previously approved transactions) shall fully describe the terms of the transaction or modification and shall set forth why the transaction or modification merits Commission approval. Such applications will be placed on the public record, together with any additional applicant submissions that the Commission directs be placed on the public record. The Director of the Bureau of Competition is delegated authority to direct such placement.
(2) The Commission will receive public comment on a prior approval application submitted pursuant to paragraphs (f)(1) or (5) of this section for thirty (30) days. During the comment period, any person may file formal written objections or comments with the Secretary of the Commission, and such objections or comments shall be placed on the public record. In appropriate cases, the Commission may shorten, eliminate, extend, or reopen a comment period.
(3) Responses to applications under this section, together with a statement of supporting reasons, will be published when made, together with responses to any public comments filed under this section.
(4) Persons submitting information that is subject to public record disclosure under this section may request confidential treatment for that information or portions thereof in accordance with § 4.9(c) and the General Counsel or the General Counsel's designee will dispose of such requests in accordance with that section. Nothing in this section requires that confidentiality requests be resolved prior to, or contemporaneously with, the disposition of the application.
(i) Any application to modify either:
(A) An agreement that has been approved by the Commission pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, or
(B) An agreement incorporated by reference into a final order of the Commission issued in connection with a merger, acquisition, or similar transaction shall be subject to review and approval in the manner described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (4) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (f)(5)(ii) of this section.
(ii) If the application establishes that the proposed modification is purely ministerial, or unlikely under any plausible facts to affect achieving the remedial purposes of the order at issue, the Commission has delegated to the Director, Deputy Directors, and Assistant Director for Compliance of the Bureau of Competition, without power of redelegation, for good cause shown, the authority.
(A) To waive the approval requirement of paragraph (f)(5)(i) of this section; and
(B) To shorten, eliminate, extend or reopen the comment period pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section.
(iii) Any agreement containing a modification approved, or for which the approval requirement is waived, pursuant to this paragraph (f)(5), shall be subject to any outstanding Commission order to the same extent as was the original agreement.