15 U.S. Code § 46 - Additional powers of Commission
To gather and compile information concerning, and to investigate from time to time the organization, business, conduct, practices, and management of any person, partnership, or corporation engaged in or whose business affects commerce, excepting banks, savings and loan institutions described in section 57a(f)(3) of this title, Federal credit unions described in section 57a(f)(4) of this title, and common carriers subject to the Act to regulate commerce, and its relation to other persons, partnerships, and corporations.
To require, by general or special orders, persons, partnerships, and corporations, engaged in or whose business affects commerce, excepting banks, savings and loan institutions described in section 57a(f)(3) of this title, Federal credit unions described in section 57a(f)(4) of this title, and common carriers subject to the Act to regulate commerce, or any class of them, or any of them, respectively, to file with the Commission in such form as the Commission may prescribe annual or special, or both annual and special, reports or answers in writing to specific questions, furnishing to the Commission such information as it may require as to the organization, business, conduct, practices, management, and relation to other corporations, partnerships, and individuals of the respective persons, partnerships, and corporations filing such reports or answers in writing. Such reports and answers shall be made under oath, or otherwise, as the Commission may prescribe, and shall be filed with the Commission within such reasonable period as the Commission may prescribe, unless additional time be granted in any case by the Commission.
Whenever a final decree has been entered against any defendant corporation in any suit brought by the United States to prevent and restrain any violation of the antitrust Acts, to make investigation, upon its own initiative, of the manner in which the decree has been or is being carried out, and upon the application of the Attorney General it shall be its duty to make such investigation. It shall transmit to the Attorney General a report embodying its findings and recommendations as a result of any such investigation, and the report shall be made public in the discretion of the Commission.
Upon the direction of the President or either House of Congress to investigate and report the facts relating to any alleged violations of the antitrust Acts by any corporation.
Upon the application of the Attorney General to investigate and make recommendations for the readjustment of the business of any corporation alleged to be violating the antitrust Acts in order that the corporation may thereafter maintain its organization, management, and conduct of business in accordance with law.
To make public from time to time such portions of the information obtained by it hereunder as are in the public interest; and to make annual and special reports to the Congress and to submit therewith recommendations for additional legislation; and to provide for the publication of its reports and decisions in such form and manner as may be best adapted for public information and use:
From time to time classify corporations and (except as provided in section 57a(a)(2) of this title) to make rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter.
To investigate, from time to time, trade conditions in and with foreign countries where associations, combinations, or practices of manufacturers, merchants, or traders, or other conditions, may affect the foreign trade of the United States, and to report to Congress thereon, with such recommendations as it deems advisable.
Upon a written request from a foreign law enforcement agency to provide assistance in accordance with this subsection, if the requesting agency states that it is investigating, or engaging in enforcement proceedings against, possible violations of laws prohibiting fraudulent or deceptive commercial practices, or other practices substantially similar to practices prohibited by any provision of the laws administered by the Commission, other than Federal antitrust laws (as defined in section 12(5) of the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 (15 U.S.C. 6211(5))), to provide the assistance described in paragraph (2) without requiring that the conduct identified in the request constitute a violation of the laws of the United States.
The authority provided by this subsection is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other authority vested in the Commission or any other officer of the United States.
The authority granted by this subsection shall not authorize the Commission to take any action or exercise any power with respect to a bank, a savings and loan institution described in section 57a(f)(3) of this title, a Federal credit union described in section 57a(f)(4) of this title, or a common carrier subject to the Act to regulate commerce, except in accordance with the undesignated proviso following the last designated subsection of this section.
The Commission may not provide investigative assistance under this subsection to a foreign law enforcement agency from a foreign state that the Secretary of State has determined, in accordance with section 2405(j) of the Appendix to title 50, has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, unless and until such determination is rescinded pursuant to section 2405(j)(4) of the Appendix to title 50.
Whenever the Commission obtains evidence that any person, partnership, or corporation, either domestic or foreign, has engaged in conduct that may constitute a violation of Federal criminal law, to transmit such evidence to the Attorney General, who may institute criminal proceedings under appropriate statutes. Nothing in this paragraph affects any other authority of the Commission to disclose information.
The Commission shall endeavor to ensure, with respect to memoranda of understanding and international agreements it may conclude, that material it has obtained from foreign law enforcement agencies acting to investigate or pursue the enforcement of foreign criminal laws may be used for the purpose of investigation, prosecution, or prevention of violations of United States criminal laws.
For repeal of amendment by section 13 of Pub. L. 109–455, see Termination Date of 2006 Amendment note below.
The Act to regulate commerce, referred to in subsecs. (a), (b), (j)(6), and the proviso following subsec. (
The International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994, referred to in subsec. (i), 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.
2006—Pub. L. 109–455, § 4(d), which substituted “subsections (a), (b), and (j)” for “clauses (a) and (b)” in proviso following subsec. (
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–455, § 4(a), which inserted “(1)” after “disclose such information”, substituted “purposes, and” for “purposes.”, and added par. (2) providing for conditional disclosure to officers and employees of foreign law enforcement, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–455, § 13, as amended by Pub. L. 112–203, § 1. See Termination Date of 2006 Amendment note below.
Subsecs. (j) to (
1994—Pub. L. 103–437, in first and third undesignated pars. following proviso after subsec. (h), substituted “Committee on Energy and Commerce” for “Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce”.
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 103–438 added subsec. (i).
1987—Pub. L. 100–86, § 715(b), in proviso following subsec. (h), inserted reference to Federal credit unions described in section 57a(f)(4) of this title and reference to in business as a Federal credit union.
1980—Pub. L. 96–252, §§ 3(b)–5(a), inserted three undesignated paragraphs following proviso after subsec. (h) requiring the Commission to establish a plan to reduce burdens imposed upon small businesses by the quarterly financial reporting requirements under subsec. (b) of this section, prohibiting Commissioners and officers and employees of the Commission from publishing or disclosing information whereby line-of-business data furnished by particular establishments or individuals can be identified, and, with certain exceptions, making this section inapplicable to the business of insurance.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 96–252, § 3(a), substituted “as are” for “, except trade secrets and names of customers, as it shall deem expedient” and inserted proviso restricting Commission’s authority to make public trade secrets or commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential.
1979—Pub. L. 96–37, § 1(b)(3), in proviso following subsec. (h), inserted references to savings and loan institutions and to persons, partnerships, corporations, groups of persons, partnerships, or corporations or industries that are not engaged or are engaged only incidentally in business as savings and loan institutions.
1975—Pub. L. 93–637, § 203(a)(3), in proviso following subsec. (h), substituted “any person, partnership, or corporation to the extent that such action is necessary to the investigation of any person, partnership, or corporation, group of persons, partnerships, or corporations,” for “any such corporation to the extent that such action is necessary to the investigation of any corporation, group of corporations,”.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–637, §§ 201(b), 203(a)(1), substituted “in or whose business affects commerce” for “in commerce”, “person, partnership, or corporation” for “corporation”, and “persons, partnerships, and corporations” for “corporations and to individuals, associations, and partnerships”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 93–637, §§ 201(b), 203(a)(2), substituted “in or whose business affects commerce” for “in commerce”, “special orders, persons, partnerships, and corporations, engaged in or whose business affects commerce, excepting” for “special orders, corporations engaged in or whose business affects commerce, excepting”, and “respective persons, partnerships, and corporations” for “respective corporations”.
1973—Pub. L. 93–153 inserted proviso following subsec. (h) that the Commission’s investigatory powers to gather and compile information, investigate, and require reports or answers is not curtailed as regards banks and common carriers when the investigation in question is an investigation of a corporation, group of corporations, or industry not engaged or engaged only incidentally in banking or in business as a common carrier subject to the Act to regulate commerce notwithstanding provisions excepting banks and common carriers subject to the Act from the exercise of the Commission’s power to investigate and require reports from corporations.
Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives treated as referring to Committee on Commerce of House of Representatives by section 1(a) of Pub. L. 104–14, set out as a note preceding section 21 of Title 2, The Congress. Committee on Commerce of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives, and jurisdiction over matters relating to securities and exchanges and insurance generally transferred to Committee on Financial Services of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Jan. 3, 2001.
Amendment by section 4(a), (b), (d) of Pub. L. 109–455 repealed effective Sept. 30, 2020, and provisions amended by Pub. L. 109–455 to be amended to read as if Pub. L. 109–455 had not been enacted, see section 13 of Pub. L. 109–455, set out as a note under section 44 of this title.
For applicability to rules promulgated or proposed under subsec. (g) of this section prior to Jan. 4, 1975, of amendment made to said subsec. (g) by section 202(b) of Act Jan. 4, 1975, see “Applicability” provisions of section 202(c) of Act Jan. 4, 1975, set out as a note under section 57a of this title.
For transfer of functions of Federal Trade Commission, with certain exceptions, to Chairman of such Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 8 of 1950, § 1, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3175, 64 Stat. 1264, set out under section 41 of this title.
Ex. Ord. No. 10544, July 12, 1954, 19 F.R. 4289, provided:
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 55(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (53 Stat. 29; 54 Stat. 1008; 55 Stat. 722) and in the interest of the internal management of the Government, it is hereby ordered that corporation income tax returns made for the year 1953 and subsequent years shall be open to inspection by the Federal Trade Commission as an aid in executing the powers conferred upon such Commission by the Federal Trade Commission Act of September 26, 1914, 38 Stat. 717, [this subchapter], such inspection to be in accordance and upon compliance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury in the Treasury decision relating to the inspection of returns by the Federal Trade Commission, approved by me this date [T.D. 6080, 19 F.R. 4308].
This Executive Order shall be effective upon its filing for publication in the Federal Register.