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e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2020

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → Subpart A

Title 16: Commercial Practices

Subpart A—Industry Guidance


Advisory Opinions

§1.1   Policy.
§1.2   Procedure.
§1.3   Advice.
§1.4   Public disclosure.

Industry Guides

§1.5   Purpose.
§1.6   How promulgated.

Advisory Opinions

§1.1   Policy.

(a) Any person, partnership, or corporation may request advice from the Commission with respect to a course of action which the requesting party proposes to pursue. The Commission will consider such requests for advice and inform the requesting party of the Commission's views, where practicable, under the following circumstances.

(1) The matter involves a substantial or novel question of fact or law and there is no clear Commission or court precedent; or

(2) The subject matter of the request and consequent publication of Commission advice is of significant public interest.

(b) The Commission has authorized its staff to consider all requests for advice and to render advice, where practicable, in those circumstances in which a Commission opinion would not be warranted. Hypothetical questions will not be answered, and a request for advice will ordinarily be considered inappropriate where:

(1) The same or substantially the same course of action is under investigation or is or has been the subject of a current proceeding involving the Commission or another governmental agency, or

(2) An informed opinion cannot be made or could be made only after extensive investigation, clinical study, testing, or collateral inquiry.

[44 FR 21624, Apr. 11, 1979; 44 FR 23515, Apr. 20, 1979, as amended at 54 FR 14072, Apr. 7, 1989]

§1.2   Procedure.

(a) Application. The request for advice or interpretation should be submitted in writing (one original and two copies) to the Secretary of the Commission and should: (1) State clearly the question(s) that the applicant wishes resolved; (2) cite the provision of law under which the question arises; and (3) state all facts which the applicant believes to be material. In addition, the identity of the companies and other persons involved should be disclosed. Letters relating to unnamed companies or persons may not be answered. Submittal of additional facts may be requested prior to the rendering of any advice.

(b) Compliance matters. If the request is for advice as to whether the proposed course of action may violate an outstanding order to cease and desist issued by the Commission, such request will be considered as provided for in §2.41 of this chapter.

[44 FR 21624, Apr. 11, 1979, as amended at 44 FR 40638, July 12, 1979]

§1.3   Advice.

(a) On the basis of the materials submitted, as well as any other information available, and if practicable, the Commission or its staff will inform the requesting party of its views.

(b) Any advice given by the Commission is without prejudice to the right of the Commission to reconsider the questions involved and, where the public interest requires, to rescind or revoke the action. Notice of such rescission or revocation will be given to the requesting party so that he may discontinue the course of action taken pursuant to the Commission's advice. The Commission will not proceed against the requesting party with respect to any action taken in good faith reliance upon the Commission's advice under this section, where all the 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 approval.

(c) Advice rendered by the staff is without prejudice to the right of the Commission later to rescind the advice and, where appropriate, to commence an enforcement proceeding.

[44 FR 21624, Apr. 11, 1979]

§1.4   Public disclosure.

Written advice rendered pursuant to this section and requests therefor, including names and details, will be placed in the Commission's public record immediately after the requesting party has received the advice, subject to any limitations on public disclosure arising from statutory restrictions, the Commission's rules, and the public interest. A request for confidential treatment of information submitted in connection with the questions should be made separately.

[44 FR 21624, Apr. 11, 1979]

Industry Guides

§1.5   Purpose.

Industry guides are administrative interpretations of laws administered by the Commission for the guidance of the public in conducting its affairs in conformity with legal requirements. They provide the basis for voluntary and simultaneous abandonment of unlawful practices by members of industry. Failure to comply with the guides may result in corrective action by the Commission under applicable statutory provisions. Guides may relate to a practice common to many industries or to specific practices of a particular industry.

§1.6   How promulgated.

Industry guides1 are promulgated by the Commission on its own initiative or pursuant to petition filed with the Secretary or upon informal application therefor, by any interested person or group, when it appears to the Commission that guidance as to the legal requirements applicable to particular practices would be beneficial in the public interest and would serve to bring about more widespread and equitable observance of laws administered by the Commission. In connection with the promulgation of industry guides, the Commission at any time may conduct such investigations, make such studies, and hold such conferences or hearings as it may deem appropriate. All or any part of any such investigation, study, conference, or hearing may be conducted under the provisions of subpart A of part 2 of this chapter.

1In the past, certain of these have been promulgated and referred to as trade practice rules.

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