Under the auspices of the information gathering authority granted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Commission has developed two corporate report programs entitled "The Line of Business [LB] Report Program" and "The Corporate Patterns Report [CPR] Program." These broad-based statistical surveys solicit from domestic corporations information on financial performance, value of shipments, net manufacturing activities, and significant acquisitions and disposals. The LB and CPR survey orders were issued to hundreds of corporations, mostly giant conglomerates. Predictably, the corporations resisted the report requirements. The inevitable result of this dispute over the LB and CPR programs has been a myriad of pre-enforcement claims, enforcement claims, and counterclaims, between several administrative agencies and hundreds of corporations, and in numerous federal courts. This horde of litigation is summarily styled In re FTC Line of Business Litigation; In re FTC Corporate Patterns Report Litigation. The formal dispute came to a virtual end with the recent denial of certiorari by the United States Supreme Court. The corporations had no remaining alternative but to comply with the report orders. Nonetheless the issue remains controversial as to how far and in what fashion the FTC may burden corporations in the enforcement of its statutory mission. This article analyzes the competing interests and examines some mutually beneficial alternatives.
Note, Analysis of the FTC Line of Business and Corporate Patterns Reports Litigation, 28 Clev. St. L. Rev. 83 (1979)