29 CFR 1610.19 - Predisclosure notification procedures for confidential commercial information.
(a) In general. Commercial information provided to the Commission shall not be disclosed except in accordance with this section. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Confidential commercial information refers to records provided by a submitter containing information that is arguably exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), because disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause substantial competitive harm.
(2) Submitter refers to any person or entity who provides confidential commercial information to the government. The term includes, but is not limited to, corporations, State governments, and foreign governments.
(b) Notice to submitter. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, the Commission shall provide a submitter with explicit notice of a FOIA request for confidential commercial records whenever:
(1) The Commission reasonably believes that disclosure could cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter;
(2) The information was submitted after January 1, 1988, and the submitter previously, in good faith, designated the records as confidential commercial information. Such designations shall:
(i) Whenever possible, include a statement or certification from an officer or authorized representative of the company that the information is in fact confidential commercial information and has not been disclosed to the public; and
(ii) Expire ten years from the date of submission unless otherwise justified.
(c) Notice to requester. When notice is given to a submitter under this section, the requester shall be notified that notice and opportunity to comment are being provided to the submitter.
(d) Opportunity of submitter to object. When notification is made pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the Commission shall afford the submitter a minimum of five business days to provide it with a detailed statement of objections to disclosure. Such statement shall provide precise identification of the exempted information, and the basis for claiming it as a trade secret or as confidential information pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), the disclosure of which is likely to cause substantial harm to the submitter's competitive position.
(e) Notice of intent to disclose.
(1) The Commission shall consider carefully the objections of a submitter provided pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section. When the Commission decides to disclose information despite such objections, it shall provide the submitter with a written statement briefly explaining why the objections were not sustained. Such statement shall be provided a minimum of three business days prior to the specified disclosure date, in order that the submitter may seek a court injunction to prevent release of the records if it so chooses.
(2) When a submitter is notified pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section, notice of the Commission's final disclosure determination and proposed release date shall also be provided to the requester.
(f) Notice of lawsuit. Whenever a requester brings suit seeking to compel disclosure of confidential commercial information, the Commission shall promptly notify the submitter of the legal action.
(g) Exceptions to the notice requirement. The notice requirements of this section shall not apply if:
(1) The Commission determines that the information shall not be disclosed;
(2) The information is published or otherwise officially available to the public;
(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 U.S.C. 552).