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FTC Authorizes Compulsory Process in Three Investigations Categories

  • The FTC has approved three procedural omnibus resolutions authorizing staff to utilize compulsory process in three categories of investigations: collusive practices; mergers, acquisitions and transactions; and the auto rental industry. The resolutions will eliminate the need for FTC staff to seek compulsory process in each individual case.  Each resolution authorizes compulsory process for a period of up to ten years.
  • The collusive practices resolution, fueled by “rising concern that the recent inflationary increase in prices may be giving companies cover to collude against the public interest,” allows FTC staff to more quickly and efficiently obtain evidence in investigations involving competitors collaborating in an anticompetitive fashion, as well as to determine the appropriateness of monetary or injunctive relief. Additionally, the resolution targets possible violations of the Clayton Act.
  • The mergers, acquisitions, and transactions resolution targets mergers that fall below the value threshold requiring reporting under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Technology companies in particular have completed hundreds of such mergers without being required to report them to either the FTC or the DOJ. The car rental resolution targets deceptive or unfair acts affecting commerce in the advertising, marketing, promotion, sale or tracking or distribution of rental cars.