FTC Act

(15 U.S. Code 41-51)

 

 

Sec. 41.  Federal Trade Commission established; membership; vacancies; seal

 

A commission is created and established, to be known as the Federal Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), which shall be composed of five Commissioners, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.  Not more than three of the Commissioners shall be members of the same political party.  The first Commissioners appointed shall continue in office for terms of three, four, five, six, and seven years, respectively, from September 26, 1914, the term of each to be designated by the President, but their successors shall be appointed for terms of seven years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the Commissioner whom he shall succeed:  Provided, however, That upon the expiration of his term of office a Commissioner shall continue to serve until his successor shall have been appointed and shall have qualified.  The President shall choose a chairman from the Commission’s membership.  No Commissioner shall engage in any other business, vocation, or employment.  Any Commissioner may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.  A vacancy in the Commission shall not impair the right of the remaining Commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Commission

 

The Commission shall have an official seal, which shall be judicially noticed. 

 

Sec. 42.  Employees; expenses

 

Each commissioner shall receive a salary, payable in the same manner as the salaries of the judges of the courts of the United States.  The commission shall appoint a secretary, who shall receive a salary, and it shall have authority to employ and fix the compensation of such attorneys, special experts, examiners, clerks, and other employees as it may from time to time find necessary for the proper performance of its duties and as may be from time to time appropriated for by Congress. 

 

With the exception of the secretary, a clerk to each Commissioner, the attorneys, and such special experts and examiners as the Commission may from time to time find necessary for the conduct of its work, all employees of the Commission shall be a part of the classified civil service, and shall enter the service under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Commission and by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. 

 

All of the expenses of the Commission, including all necessary expenses for transportation incurred by the Commissioners or by their employees under their orders, in making any investigation, or upon official business in any other places than in the city of Washington, shall be allowed and paid on the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the Commission

 

Until otherwise provided by law, the Commission may rent suitable offices for its use. 

 

The Government Accountability Office shall receive and examine all accounts of expenditures of the Commission

 

Sec. 43.  Office and place of meeting

 

The principal office of the Commission shall be in the city of Washington, but it may meet and exercise all its powers at any other place.  The Commission may, by one or more of its members, or by such examiners as it may designate, prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties in any part of the United States. 

 

Sec. 44.  Definitions

 

The words defined in this section shall have the following meaning when found in this subchapter, to wit: 

 

“Commerce” means commerce among the several States or with foreign nations, or in any Territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia, or between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory and any State or foreign nation, or between the District of Columbia and any State or Territory or foreign nation. 

 

“Corporation” shall be deemed to include any company, trust, so-called Massachusetts trust, or association, incorporated or unincorporated, which is organized to carry on business for its own profit or that of its members, and has shares of capital or capital stock or certificates of interest, and any company, trust, so-called Massachusetts trust, or association, incorporated or unincorporated, without shares of capital or capital stock or certificates of interest, except partnerships, which is organized to carry on business for its own profit or that of its members.

 

“Documentary evidence” includes all documents, papers, correspondence, books of account, and financial and corporate records. 

 

“Acts to regulate commerce” means subtitle IV of title 49 and the Communications Act of 1934 [47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.] and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto. 

 

Antitrust Acts” means the Act entitled “An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies”, approved July 2, 1890; also sections 73 to 76, inclusive, of an Act entitled “An Act to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes”, approved August 27, 1894; also the Act entitled “An Act to amend sections 73 and 76 of the Act of August 27, 1894, entitled ‘An Act to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes’ ”, approved February 12, 1913; and also the Act entitled “An Act to supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes”, approved October 15, 1914. 

 

“Banks” means the types of banks and other financial institutions referred to in section 57a (f)(2) of this title. 

 

Sec. 45.  Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission

 

(a) Declaration of unlawfulness; power to prohibit unfair practices; inapplicability to foreign trade

 

(1) Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful. 

 

(2) The Commission is hereby empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations, except 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, common carriers subject to the Acts to regulate commerce, air carriers and foreign air carriers subject to part A of subtitle VII of title 49, and persons, partnerships, or corporations insofar as they are subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended [7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.], except as provided in section 406(b) of said Act [7 U.S.C. 227 (b)], from using unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. 

 

(3) This subsection shall not apply to unfair methods of competition involving commerce with foreign nations (other than import commerce) unless—

 

          (A) such methods of competition have a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect—

 

(i) on commerce which is not commerce with foreign nations, or on import commerce with foreign nations; or

 

(ii) on export commerce with foreign nations, of a person engaged in such commerce in the United States; and

 

(B) such effect gives rise to a claim under the provisions of this subsection, other than this paragraph. 

 

If this subsection applies to such methods of competition only because of the operation of subparagraph (A)(ii), this subsection shall apply to such conduct only for injury to export business in the United States. 

 

(b) Proceeding by Commission; modifying and setting aside orders

 

Whenever the Commission shall have reason to believe that any such person, partnership, or corporation has been or is using any unfair method of competition or unfair or deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce, and if it shall appear to the Commission that a proceeding by it in respect thereof would be to the interest of the public, it shall issue and serve upon such person, partnership, or corporation a complaint stating its charges in that respect and containing a notice of a hearing upon a day and at a place therein fixed at least thirty days after the service of said complaint.  The person, partnership, or corporation so complained of shall have the right to appear at the place and time so fixed and show cause why an order should not be entered by the Commission requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to cease and desist from the violation of the law so charged in said complaint.  Any person, partnership, or corporation may make application, and upon good cause shown may be allowed by the Commission to intervene and appear in said proceeding by counsel or in person.  The testimony in any such proceeding shall be reduced to writing and filed in the office of the Commission.  If upon such hearing the Commission shall be of the opinion that the method of competition or the act or practice in question is prohibited by this subchapter, it shall make a report in writing in which it shall state its findings as to the facts and shall issue and cause to be served on such person, partnership, or corporation an order requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to cease and desist from using such method of competition or such act or practice.  Until the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for review, if no such petition has been duly filed within such time, or, if a petition for review has been filed within such time then until the record in the proceeding has been filed in a court of appeals of the United States, as hereinafter provided, the Commission may at any time, upon such notice and in such manner as it shall deem proper, modify or set aside, in whole or in part, any report or any order made or issued by it under this section.  After the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for review, if no such petition has been duly filed within such time, the Commission may at any time, after notice and opportunity for hearing, reopen and alter, modify, or set aside, in whole or in part any report or order made or issued by it under this section, whenever in the opinion of the Commission conditions of fact or of law have so changed as to require such action or if the public interest shall so require, except that

 

(1) the said person, partnership, or corporation may, within sixty days after service upon him or it of said report or order entered after such a reopening, obtain a review thereof in the appropriate court of appeals of the United States, in the manner provided in subsection (c) of this section; and

 

(2) in the case of an order, the Commission shall reopen any such order to consider whether such order (including any affirmative relief provision contained in such order) should be altered, modified, or set aside, in whole or in part, if the person, partnership, or corporation involved files a request with the Commission which makes a satisfactory showing that changed conditions of law or fact require such order to be altered, modified, or set aside, in whole or in part.  The Commission shall determine whether to alter, modify, or set aside any order of the Commission in response to a request made by a person, partnership, or corporation under paragraph [1] (2) not later than 120 days after the date of the filing of such request. 

 

(c) Review of order; rehearing

 

Any person, partnership, or corporation required by an order of the Commission to cease and desist from using any method of competition or act or practice may obtain a review of such order in the court of appeals of the United States, within any circuit where the method of competition or the act or practice in question was used or where such person, partnership, or corporation resides or carries on business, by filing in the court, within sixty days from the date of the service of such order, a written petition praying that the order of the Commission be set aside.  A copy of such petition shall be forthwith transmitted by the clerk of the court to the Commission, and thereupon the Commission shall file in the court the record in the proceeding, as provided in section 2112 of title 28.  Upon such filing of the petition the court shall have jurisdiction of the proceeding and of the question determined therein concurrently with the Commission until the filing of the record and shall have power to make and enter a decree affirming, modifying, or setting aside the order of the Commission, and enforcing the same to the extent that such order is affirmed and to issue such writs as are ancillary to its jurisdiction or are necessary in its judgment to prevent injury to the public or to competitors pendente lite.  The findings of the Commission as to the facts, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive.  To the extent that the order of the Commission is affirmed, the court shall thereupon issue its own order commanding obedience to the terms of such order of the Commission.  If either party shall apply to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence, and shall show to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the proceeding before the Commission, the court may order such additional evidence to be taken before the Commission and to be adduced upon the hearing in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as to the court may seem proper.  The Commission may modify its findings as to the facts, or make new findings, by reason of the additional evidence so taken, and it shall file such modified or new findings, which, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive, and its recommendation, if any, for the modification or setting aside of its original order, with the return of such additional evidence.  The judgment and decree of the court shall be final, except that the same shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court upon certiorari, as provided in section 1254 of title 28. 

 

(d) Jurisdiction of court

 

Upon the filing of the record with it the jurisdiction of the court of appeals of the United States to affirm, enforce, modify, or set aside orders of the Commission shall be exclusive. 

 

(e) Exemption from liability

 

No order of the Commission or judgment of court to enforce the same shall in anywise relieve or absolve any person, partnership, or corporation from any liability under the Antitrust Acts. 

 

(f) Service of complaints, orders and other processes; return

 

Complaints, orders, and other processes of the Commission under this section may be served by anyone duly authorized by the Commission, either

 

(a) by delivering a copy thereof to the person to be served, or to a member of the partnership to be served, or the president, secretary, or other executive officer or a director of the corporation to be served; or

 

(b) by leaving a copy thereof at the residence or the principal office or place of business of such person, partnership, or corporation; or

 

(c) by mailing a copy thereof by registered mail or by certified mail addressed to such person, partnership, or corporation at his or its residence or principal office or place of business.  The verified return by the person so serving said complaint, order, or other process setting forth the manner of said service shall be proof of the same, and the return post office receipt for said complaint, order, or other process mailed by registered mail or by certified mail as aforesaid shall be proof of the service of the same. 

 

(g) Finality of order

 

An order of the Commission to cease and desist shall become final—

 

(1) Upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for review, if no such petition has been duly filed within such time; but the Commission may thereafter modify or set aside its order to the extent provided in the last sentence of subsection (b). 

 

(2) Except as to any order provision subject to paragraph (4), upon the sixtieth day after such order is served, if a petition for review has been duly filed; except that any such order may be stayed, in whole or in part and subject to such conditions as may be appropriate, by—

 

(A) the Commission;

 

(B) an appropriate court of appeals of the United States, if

 

(i) a petition for review of such order is pending in such court, and

 

(ii) an application for such a stay was previously submitted to the Commission and the Commission, within the 30-day period beginning on the date the application was received by the Commission, either denied the application or did not grant or deny the application; or

 

(C) the Supreme Court, if an applicable petition for certiorari is pending. 

 

(3) For purposes of subsection (m)(1)(B) of this section and of section 57b (a)(2) of this title, if a petition for review of the order of the Commission has been filed—

 

(A) upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed or the petition for review has been dismissed by the court of appeals and no petition for certiorari has been duly filed;

 

(B) upon the denial of a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed or the petition for review has been dismissed by the court of appeals; or

 

(C) upon the expiration of 30 days from the date of issuance of a mandate of the Supreme Court directing that the order of the Commission be affirmed or the petition for review be dismissed. 

 

(4) In the case of an order provision requiring a person, partnership, or corporation to divest itself of stock, other share capital, or assets, if a petition for review of such order of the Commission has been filed—

 

(A) upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed or the petition for review has been dismissed by the court of appeals and no petition for certiorari has been duly filed;

 

(B) upon the denial of a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed or the petition for review has been dismissed by the court of appeals; or

 

(C) upon the expiration of 30 days from the date of issuance of a mandate of the Supreme Court directing that the order of the Commission be affirmed or the petition for review be dismissed. 

 

(h) Modification or setting aside of order by Supreme Court

 

If the Supreme Court directs that the order of the Commission be modified or set aside, the order of the Commission rendered in accordance with the mandate of the Supreme Court shall become final upon the expiration of thirty days from the time it was rendered, unless within such thirty days either party has instituted proceedings to have such order corrected to accord with the mandate, in which event the order of the Commission shall become final when so corrected. 

 

(i) Modification or setting aside of order by Court of Appeals

 

          If the order of the Commission is modified or set aside by the court of appeals, and if

 

(1) the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari has expired and no such petition has been duly filed, or

 

(2) the petition for certiorari has been denied, or

 

(3) the decision of the court has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, then the order of the Commission rendered in accordance with the mandate of the court of appeals shall become final on the expiration of thirty days from the time such order of the Commission was rendered, unless within such thirty days either party has instituted proceedings to have such order corrected so that it will accord with the mandate, in which event the order of the Commission shall become final when so corrected. 

 

(j) Rehearing upon order or remand

 

If the Supreme Court orders a rehearing; or if the case is remanded by the court of appeals to the Commission for a rehearing, and if

 

(1) the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari has expired, and no such petition has been duly filed, or

 

(2) the petition for certiorari has been denied, or

 

(3) the decision of the court has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, then the order of the Commission rendered upon such rehearing shall become final in the same manner as though no prior order of the Commission had been rendered. 

 

(k) “Mandate” defined

 

As used in this section the term “mandate”, in case a mandate has been recalled prior to the expiration of thirty days from the date of issuance thereof, means the final mandate. 

 

(l) Penalty for violation of order; injunctions and other appropriate equitable relief

 

Any person, partnership, or corporation who violates an order of the Commission after it has become final, and while such order is in effect, shall forfeit and pay to the United States a civil penalty of not more than $ 10,000 for each violation, which shall accrue to the United States and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General of the United States.  Each separate violation of such an order shall be a separate offense, except that in a case of a violation through continuing failure to obey or neglect to obey a final order of the Commission, each day of continuance of such failure or neglect shall be deemed a separate offense.  In such actions, the United States district courts are empowered to grant mandatory injunctions and such other and further equitable relief as they deem appropriate in the enforcement of such final orders of the Commission. 

 

(m) Civil actions for recovery of penalties for knowing violations of rules and cease and desist orders respecting unfair or deceptive acts or practices; jurisdiction; maximum amount of penalties; continuing violations; de novo determinations; compromise or settlement procedure

 

(1)

 

(A) The Commission may commence a civil action to recover a civil penalty in a district court of the United States against any person, partnership, or corporation which violates any rule under this chapter respecting unfair or deceptive acts or practices (other than an interpretive rule or a rule violation of which the Commission has provided is not an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of subsection (a)(1) of this section) with actual knowledge or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances that such act is unfair or deceptive and is prohibited by such rule.  In such action, such person, partnership, or corporation shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $ 10,000 for each violation. 

 

(B) If the Commission determines in a proceeding under subsection (b) of this section that any act or practice is unfair or deceptive, and issues a final cease and desist order, other than a consent order, with respect to such act or practice, then the Commission may commence a civil action to obtain a civil penalty in a district court of the United States against any person, partnership, or corporation which engages in such act or practice—

 

(1) after such cease and desist order becomes final (whether or not such person, partnership, or corporation was subject to such cease and desist order), and

 

(2) with actual knowledge that such act or practice is unfair or deceptive and is unlawful under subsection (a)(1) of this section. 

 

In such action, such person, partnership, or corporation shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $ 10,000 for each violation. 

 

(C) In the case of a violation through continuing failure to comply with a rule or with subsection (a)(1) of this section, each day of continuance of such failure shall be treated as a separate violation, for purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B).  In determining the amount of such a civil penalty, the court shall take into account the degree of culpability, any history of prior such conduct, ability to pay, effect on ability to continue to do business, and such other matters as justice may require. 

 

(2) If the cease and desist order establishing that the act or practice is unfair or deceptive was not issued against the defendant in a civil penalty action under paragraph (1)(B) the issues of fact in such action against such defendant shall be tried de novo.  Upon request of any party to such an action against such defendant, the court shall also review the determination of law made by the Commission in the proceeding under subsection (b) of this section that the act or practice which was the subject of such proceeding constituted an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of subsection (a) of this section. 

 

(3) The Commission may compromise or settle any action for a civil penalty if such compromise or settlement is accompanied by a public statement of its reasons and is approved by the court. 

 

(n) Standard of proof; public policy considerations

 

The Commission shall have no authority under this section or section 57a of this title to declare unlawful an act or practice on the grounds that such act or practice is unfair unless the act or practice causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves and not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition.  In determining whether an act or practice is unfair, the Commission may consider established public policies as evidence to be considered with all other evidence.  Such public policy considerations may not serve as a primary basis for such determination. 

 

Sec. 45a.  Labels on products

 

To the extent any person introduces, delivers for introduction, sells, advertises, or offers for sale in commerce a product with a “Made in the U.S.A.” or “Made in America” label, or the equivalent thereof, in order to represent that such product was in whole or substantial part of domestic origin, such label shall be consistent with decisions and orders of the Federal Trade Commission issued pursuant to section 45 of this title.  This section only applies to such labels.  Nothing in this section shall preclude the application of other provisions of law relating to labeling.  The Commission may periodically consider an appropriate percentage of imported components which may be included in the product and still be reasonably consistent with such decisions and orders.  Nothing in this section shall preclude use of such labels for products that contain imported components under the label when the label also discloses such information in a clear and conspicuous manner.  The Commission shall administer this section pursuant to section 45 of this title and may from time to time issue rules pursuant to section 553 of title 5 for such purpose.  If a rule is issued, such violation shall be treated by the Commission as a violation of a rule under section 57a of this title regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices.  This section shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register of a Notice of the provisions of this section.  The Commission shall publish such notice within six months after September 13, 1994. 

 

Sec. 46.  Additional powers of Commission

 

The Commission shall also have power—

 

(a) Investigation of persons, partnerships, or corporations

 

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. 

 

(b) Reports of 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

 

(c) Investigation of compliance with antitrust decrees

 

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

 

(d) Investigations of violations of antitrust statutes

 

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. 

 

(e) Readjustment of business of corporations violating antitrust statutes

 

         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. 

 

(f) Publication of information; reports

 

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:  Provided, That the Commission shall not have any authority to make public any trade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential, except that the Commission may disclose such information to officers and employees of appropriate Federal law enforcement agencies or to any officer or employee of any State law enforcement agency upon the prior certification of an officer of any such Federal or State law enforcement agency that such information will be maintained in confidence and will be used only for official law enforcement purposes. 

 

(g) Classification of corporations; regulations

 

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. 

 

(h) Investigations of foreign trade conditions; reports

 

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. 

 

(i) Investigations of foreign antitrust law violations

 

With respect to the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 [15 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.], to conduct investigations of possible violations of foreign antitrust laws (as defined in section 12 of such Act [15 U.S.C. 6211]). 

 

Provided, That the exception of “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” from the Commission’s powers defined in clauses (a) and (b) of this section, shall not be construed to limit the Commission’s authority to gather and compile information, to investigate, or to require reports or answers from, 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, or industry which is not engaged or is engaged only incidentally in banking, in business as a savings and loan institution, in business as a Federal credit union, or in business as a common carrier subject to the Act to regulate commerce. 

 

The Commission shall establish a plan designed to substantially reduce burdens imposed upon small businesses as a result of requirements established by the Commission under clause (b) relating to the filing of quarterly financial reports.  Such plan shall

 

(1) be established after consultation with small businesses and persons who use the information contained in such quarterly financial reports;

 

(2) provide for a reduction of the number of small businesses required to file such quarterly financial reports; and

 

(3) make revisions in the forms used for such quarterly financial reports for the purpose of reducing the complexity of such forms.  The Commission, not later than December 31, 1980, shall submit such plan to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.  Such plan shall take effect not later than October 31, 1981. 

 

No officer or employee of the Commission or any Commissioner may publish or disclose information to the public, or to any Federal agency, whereby any line-of-business data furnished by a particular establishment or individual can be identified.  No one other than designated sworn officers and employees of the Commission may examine the line-of-business reports from individual firms, and information provided in the line-of-business program administered by the Commission shall be used only for statistical purposes.  Information for carrying out specific law enforcement responsibilities of the Commission shall be obtained under practices and procedures in effect on May 28, 1980, or as changed by law. 

 

Nothing in this section (other than the provisions of clause (c) and clause (d)) shall apply to the business of insurance, except that the Commission shall have authority to conduct studies and prepare reports relating to the business of insurance.  The Commission may exercise such authority only upon receiving a request which is agreed to by a majority of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate or the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.  The authority to conduct any such study shall expire at the end of the Congress during which the request for such study was made. 

 

Sec. 46a.  Concurrent resolution essential to authorize investigations

 

After June 16, 1933, no new investigations shall be initiated by the Commission as the result of a legislative resolution, except the same be a concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress. 

 

Sec. 47.  Reference of suits under antitrust statutes to Commission

 

In any suit in equity brought by or under the direction of the Attorney General as provided in the antitrust Acts, the court may, upon the conclusion of the testimony therein, if it shall be then of opinion that the complainant is entitled to relief, refer said suit to the Commission, as a master in chancery, to ascertain and report an appropriate form of decree therein.  The Commission shall proceed upon such notice to the parties and under such rules of procedure as the court may prescribe, and upon the coming in of such report such exceptions may be filed and such proceedings had in relation thereto as upon the report of a master in other equity causes, but the court may adopt or reject such report, in whole or in part, and enter such decree as the nature of the case may in its judgment require. 

 

Sec. 48.  Information and assistance from departments

 

The several departments and bureaus of the Government when directed by the President shall furnish the Commission, upon its request, all records, papers, and information in their possession relating to any corporation subject to any of the provisions of this subchapter, and shall detail from time to time such officials and employees to the Commission as he may direct. 

 

Sec. 49.  Documentary evidence; depositions; witnesses

 

For the purposes of this subchapter the Commission, or its duly authorized agent or agents, shall at all reasonable times have access to, for the purpose of examination, and the right to copy any documentary evidence of any person, partnership, or corporation being investigated or proceeded against; and the Commission shall have power to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all such documentary evidence relating to any matter under investigation.  Any member of the Commission may sign subpoenas, and members and examiners of the Commission may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence. 

 

Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, at any designated place of hearing.  And in case of disobedience to a subpoena the Commission may invoke the aid of any court of the United States in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence. 

 

Any of the district courts of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, partnership, or corporation issue an order requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to appear before the Commission, or to produce documentary evidence if so ordered, or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof. 

 

Upon the application of the Attorney General of the United States, at the request of the Commission, the district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus commanding any person, partnership, or corporation to comply with the provisions of this subchapter or any order of the Commission made in pursuance thereof. 

 

The Commission may order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending under this subchapter at any stage of such proceeding or investigation.  Such depositions may be taken before any person designated by the Commission and having power to administer oaths.  Such testimony shall be reduced to writing by the person taking the deposition, or under his direction, and shall then be subscribed by the deponent.  Any person may be compelled to appear and depose and to produce documentary evidence in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the Commission as hereinbefore provided. 

 

Witnesses summoned before the Commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States. 

 

Sec. 50.  Offenses and penalties

 

Any person who shall neglect or refuse to attend and testify, or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce any documentary evidence, if in his power to do so, in obedience to an order of a district court of the United States directing compliance with the subpoena or lawful requirement of the Commission, shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $ 1,000 nor more than $ 5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

 

Any person who shall willfully make, or cause to be made, any false entry or statement of fact in any report required to be made under this subchapter, or who shall willfully make, or cause to be made, any false entry in any account, record, or memorandum kept by any person, partnership, or corporation subject to this subchapter, or who shall willfully neglect or fail to make, or to cause to be made, full, true, and correct entries in such accounts, records, or memoranda of all facts and transactions appertaining to the business of such person, partnership, or corporation, or who shall willfully remove out of the jurisdiction of the United States, or willfully mutilate, alter, or by any other means falsify any documentary evidence of such person, partnership, or corporation, or who shall willfully refuse to submit to the Commission or to any of its authorized agents, for the purpose of inspection and taking copies, any documentary evidence of such person, partnership, or corporation in his possession or within his control, shall be deemed guilty of an offense against the United States, and shall be subject, upon conviction in any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction, to a fine of not less than $ 1,000 nor more than $ 5,000, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or to both such fine and imprisonment. 

 

If any persons, partnership, or corporation required by this subchapter to file any annual or special report shall fail so to do within the time fixed by the Commission for filing the same, and such failure shall continue for thirty days after notice of such default, the corporation shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $ 100 for each and every day of the continuance of such failure, which forfeiture shall be payable into the Treasury of the United States, and shall be recoverable in a civil suit in the name of the United States brought in the case of a corporation or partnership in the district where the corporation or partnership has its principal office or in any district in which it shall do business, and in the case of any person in the district where such person resides or has his principal place of business.  It shall be the duty of the various United States attorneys, under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States, to prosecute for the recovery of the forfeitures.  The costs and expenses of such prosecution shall be paid out of the appropriation for the expenses of the courts of the United States. 

 

Any officer or employee of the Commission who shall make public any information obtained by the Commission without its authority, unless directed by a court, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $ 5,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court. 

 

Sec. 51.  Effect on other statutory provisions

 

Nothing contained in this subchapter shall be construed to prevent or interfere with the enforcement of the provisions of the antitrust Acts or the Acts to regulate commerce, nor shall anything contained in this subchapter be construed to alter, modify, or repeal the said antitrust Acts or the Acts to regulate commerce or any part or parts thereof. 

 

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