National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 40155-40157 [2017-17880]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES more, and any BHC identified as a G– SIB based on its method 1 score calculated as of December 31 of the previous calendar year 2 that does not otherwise meet the consolidated assets threshold for BHCs. The Board uses the FR Y–15 data to monitor, on an ongoing basis, the systemic risk profile of institutions which are subject to enhanced prudential standards under section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).3 In addition, the FR Y–15 is used to (i) facilitate the implementation of the surcharge for G– SIBs, (ii) identify other institutions which may present significant systemic risk, and (iii) analyze the systemic risk implications of proposed mergers and acquisitions. Proposed Revisions: The FR Y–15 would be revised by (1) including Mexican pesos in total payments activity on Schedule C and removing it from the Memorandum items; (2) adding securities brokers to the definition of financial institutions in the instructions for Schedule B; (3) expressly including all cleared derivative transactions in Schedule D, item 1; (4) specifying how certain cleared derivatives transactions are reported in Schedule B, items 5(a) and 11(a); and (5) making minor clarifications to the form and instructions. The proposed changes would be effective for reports submitted on or after January 1, 2018, beginning with reports reflecting the December 31, 2017, report date. Legal Authorization and Confidentiality: The Board has determined that the FR Y–15 is authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act (sections 163, 165, and 604), the International Banking Act, the Bank Holding Company Act, and the Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. 1467a, 1844, 3106, and 3108). The obligation to respond to the FR Y–15 is mandatory. Most of the data collected on the FR Y–15 is made public unless a specific request for confidentiality is submitted by the reporting entity, either on the FR Y–15 or on the form from which the data item is obtained.4 Such information will be accorded confidential treatment under exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)), if the submitter substantiates 2 See 12 CFR 217.402. U.S.C. 5365. 4 A number of the items in the FR Y–15 are retrieved from the FR Y–9C and certain items may be retrieved from the FFIEC–101 and FFIEC 009. Confidential treatment will also extend to any automatically-calculated items on the FR Y–15 that have been derived from confidential data items and that, if released, would reveal the underlying confidential data. 3 12 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:29 Aug 23, 2017 Jkt 241001 its assertion that disclosure would likely cause substantial competitive harm. To the extent confidential data collected under the FR Y–15 will be used for supervisory purposes, it may be exempt from disclosure under Exemption 8 of FOIA, (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)). Consultation Outside the Agency: The FR Y–15 was derived from data collections developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to assess the global systemic importance of banks. The BCBS revised its data collations in January 2017 after consultation with representatives from numerous national supervisory authorities, including the Board.5 Many of the proposed revisions to the FR Y– 15 would correspond to changes made to the BCBS data collection. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 21, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2017–17939 Filed 8–23–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 151 0138] National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed Consent Agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations. DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2017. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write: ‘‘In the Matter of National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ cattleartificialinseminationconsent by following the instructions on the webbased form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of National Association of Animal SUMMARY: 5 See Instructions for the end-2016 G–SIB assessment exercise, January 2017, available at www.bis.org/bcbs/gsib/instr_end16_gsib.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40155 Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC– 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Armando Irizarry (202–326–2964), Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for August 18, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/commissionactions. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before September 19, 2017. Write ‘‘In the Matter of National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138’’ on your comment. Your comment— including your name and your state— will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/ public-comments. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ cattleartificialinseminationconsent by following the instructions on the webbased form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of National E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES 40156 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC. 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’s Social Security number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential’’—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled ‘‘Confidential,’’ and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC Web site—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Web site, unless you submit a confidentiality VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:29 Aug 23, 2017 Jkt 241001 request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the FTC Web site to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before September 19, 2017. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/ privacy-policy. Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (‘‘Consent Agreement’’) from the National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. (‘‘NAAB’’). NAAB is a trade association of cattle artificial insemination firms. Dairy production in the United States is dependent on volume from more than 9.3 million cows, the market for which relies on services provided by NAAB member breeders. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with partial funding from the NAAB through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (‘‘CRADA’’), developed a new technology that is the best indicator of genetic merit of dairy bulls for use in artificial insemination in so far as yielding higher producing dairy cows. The Commission’s complaint (‘‘Complaint’’) alleges that NAAB violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by restraining competition among its regular members in the use of this new technology, which dampened competition in the market for dairy bulls used for semen production. This matter reaffirms the longstanding rule that trade associations composed of members that compete among themselves, while typically serving important and procompetitive functions, must not adopt rules or regulations that unreasonably limit competition among their members. It also illustrates that industry groups that obtain valuable and unique technology from the government may not establish rules or regulations regarding that technology that unreasonably restrain competition. The Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days for receipt of comments from interested PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 members of the public. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will review the Consent Agreement and comments received, and decide whether it should withdraw, modify, or make the Consent Agreement final. The Consent Agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by NAAB that it has violated the law as alleged in the Complaint or that the facts alleged in the Complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, are true. The purpose of this Analysis to Aid Public Comment is to invite and facilitate public comment. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Consent Agreement and the accompanying Proposed Order, or in any way modify their terms. I. The Complaint The Complaint makes the following allegations. NAAB is a non-profit corporation with about 24 regular members that compete among themselves and with others in the business of collecting, processing, freezing, marketing or selling dairy cattle semen for artificial insemination. NAAB’s members buy dairy bulls from dairy farmers and breeders to produce semen for artificial insemination. NAAB members together account for more than 90 percent of dairy cattle semen sales in the United States. In September 2006, NAAB entered into a CRADA with the United States Department of Agriculture (‘‘USDA’’) to cooperate with a USDA laboratory in a project for developing the genomic testing technology described above. The CRADA granted NAAB exclusive access to the results of the CRADA project until February 2013. The CRADA did not restrain in any way the ability of NAAB or its members to use the new technology or to sell access to it, nor did it authorize NAAB or its members to adopt rules that restrain in any way the ability of its members to use the new technology or to sell access to it. By April 2008, the USDA laboratory had developed the new technology, known as the Genomic Predicted Transmitting Ability (‘‘GPTA’’), which analyzes the genetics of a dairy bull to predict the ability of the bull to transmit commercially important traits, such as milk yield, to its daughters. This new technology is superior to the traditional method of evaluating dairy bulls for semen production, and it became the best indicator of a dairy bull’s E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices commercial value for transmitting genetic traits. In October 2008, more than two years after entering into the CRADA, NAAB approved a resolution that regulated its members’ access to the new technology during the exclusivity period granted by the CRADA (through February 2013). NAAB acted as a combination of its members when it approved the resolution. The resolution required that for a NAAB member to obtain the GPTA of a dairy bull, the Member had to have one of the following interests in the bull: (a) Own the bull, (b) have an agreement to purchase at least a 30 percent interest in the bull, (c) have a lease on the bull, or (d) have an exclusive marketing agreement for the bull. The USDA laboratory was the only source of GPTAs during the exclusivity period. The Complaint alleges that NAAB’s resolution harmed competition by diminishing competition for dairy bulls used for semen production. First, it impeded the development of a market in which dairy farmers and breeders could pay NAAB members to obtain GPTAs for their dairy bulls. Second, the resolution limited NAAB members from obtaining the GPTA of bulls in which they did not already have a financial interest. Access to a bull’s GPTA prior to buying or selling it would tend to increase competition and drive the price of the bull toward a value that more accurately reflects its ability to yield higher producing dairy cows. After the exclusivity period expired in February 2013, GPTAs became available for a fee through an industry organization. The Complaint alleges that the purpose, effect, tendency or capacity of the resolution was to restrain competition unreasonably among NAAB’s Members, and that this conduct injured dairy farmers and breeders by depriving them of the benefits of free and open competition. Therefore, the resolution constitutes an unfair method of competition that violates Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES II. The Proposed Order The Proposed Order has the following substantive provisions. Paragraph II requires NAAB to cease and desist from restraining the ability of its members to obtain, disclose, provide, use or sell any technology or information resulting from research projects conducted by, or pursuant to, an agreement to which NAAB is a party. The Proposed Order also prohibits NAAB from restraining price-related competition among its members relating to the sale or acquisition of bulls or bull semen. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:29 Aug 23, 2017 Jkt 241001 A proviso to Paragraph II specifies that the Proposed Order does not prohibit NAAB from engaging in any conduct that is reasonably necessary to achieve procompetitive benefits or efficiencies relating to NAAB’s operation or to the operation of its members, provided that such benefits or efficiencies likely would offset the anticompetitive harms. Paragraph III requires that, for five years, NAAB notify the Commission if it adopts or modifies any regulation that restrains the ability of its members to obtain disclose, provide, sell or use any technology or information resulting from any research project. Paragraph V of the Proposed Order requires that NAAB implement an antitrust compliance program to ensure compliance with the Proposed Order and the antitrust laws. Paragraphs IV and VI–VIII of the Proposed Order impose certain standard reporting and compliance requirements on NAAB. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–17880 Filed 8–23–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS–10371, CMS– 10507, CMS–10558 and CMS–10650] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS’ intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40157 collection for the proper performance of the agency’s functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden. Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by September 25, 2017. DATES: When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395–5806 OR Email: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following: 1. Access CMS’ Web site address at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-andGuidance/Legislation/ PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRAListing.html. 2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov. 3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786–1326. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Parham at (410) 786–4669. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term ‘‘collection of information’’ is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 163 (Thursday, August 24, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40155-40157]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17880]


=======================================================================
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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 151 0138]


National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc.; Analysis To Aid 
Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed Consent Agreement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. 
The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the 
allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order--
embodied in the consent agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write: ``In the Matter of 
National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138'' on 
your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/cattleartificialinseminationconsent by 
following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file 
your comment on paper, write ``In the Matter of National Association of 
Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138'' on your comment and on the 
envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
D), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Armando Irizarry (202-326-2964), 
Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC Home Page (for August 18, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at 
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before September 19, 
2017. Write ``In the Matter of National Association of Animal Breeders, 
Inc. File No. 1510138'' on your comment. Your comment--including your 
name and your state--will be placed on the public record of this 
proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public 
Commission Web site, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments.
    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/cattleartificialinseminationconsent by following the instructions 
on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that 
Web site.
    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``In the Matter 
of National

[[Page 40156]]

Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. File No. 1510138'' on your comment 
and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC. 20024. If possible, submit your 
paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC 
Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making 
sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential 
information. In particular, your comment should not include any 
sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else's Social 
Security number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state 
identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; 
financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also 
solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include 
any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment 
should not include any ``trade secret or any commercial or financial 
information which . . . is privileged or confidential''--as provided by 
Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 
16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)--including in particular competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is 
requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled 
``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, 
the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the 
comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and 
must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from 
the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in 
accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has 
been posted on the public FTC Web site--as legally required by FTC Rule 
4.9(b)--we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Web site, 
unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements 
for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel 
grants that request.
    Visit the FTC Web site to read this Notice and the news release 
describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission 
administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and 
use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider 
all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before 
September 19, 2017. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') has accepted, subject 
to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (``Consent 
Agreement'') from the National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc. 
(``NAAB''). NAAB is a trade association of cattle artificial 
insemination firms.
    Dairy production in the United States is dependent on volume from 
more than 9.3 million cows, the market for which relies on services 
provided by NAAB member breeders. In 2008, the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, with partial funding from the NAAB through a Cooperative 
Research and Development Agreement (``CRADA''), developed a new 
technology that is the best indicator of genetic merit of dairy bulls 
for use in artificial insemination in so far as yielding higher 
producing dairy cows. The Commission's complaint (``Complaint'') 
alleges that NAAB violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission 
Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by restraining competition among its 
regular members in the use of this new technology, which dampened 
competition in the market for dairy bulls used for semen production.
    This matter reaffirms the longstanding rule that trade associations 
composed of members that compete among themselves, while typically 
serving important and procompetitive functions, must not adopt rules or 
regulations that unreasonably limit competition among their members. It 
also illustrates that industry groups that obtain valuable and unique 
technology from the government may not establish rules or regulations 
regarding that technology that unreasonably restrain competition.
    The Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 
days for receipt of comments from interested members of the public. 
Comments received during this period will become part of the public 
record. After 30 days, the Commission will review the Consent Agreement 
and comments received, and decide whether it should withdraw, modify, 
or make the Consent Agreement final.
    The Consent Agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not 
constitute an admission by NAAB that it has violated the law as alleged 
in the Complaint or that the facts alleged in the Complaint, other than 
jurisdictional facts, are true.
    The purpose of this Analysis to Aid Public Comment is to invite and 
facilitate public comment. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the proposed Consent Agreement and the accompanying 
Proposed Order, or in any way modify their terms.

I. The Complaint

    The Complaint makes the following allegations.
    NAAB is a non-profit corporation with about 24 regular members that 
compete among themselves and with others in the business of collecting, 
processing, freezing, marketing or selling dairy cattle semen for 
artificial insemination. NAAB's members buy dairy bulls from dairy 
farmers and breeders to produce semen for artificial insemination. NAAB 
members together account for more than 90 percent of dairy cattle semen 
sales in the United States.
    In September 2006, NAAB entered into a CRADA with the United States 
Department of Agriculture (``USDA'') to cooperate with a USDA 
laboratory in a project for developing the genomic testing technology 
described above. The CRADA granted NAAB exclusive access to the results 
of the CRADA project until February 2013. The CRADA did not restrain in 
any way the ability of NAAB or its members to use the new technology or 
to sell access to it, nor did it authorize NAAB or its members to adopt 
rules that restrain in any way the ability of its members to use the 
new technology or to sell access to it.
    By April 2008, the USDA laboratory had developed the new 
technology, known as the Genomic Predicted Transmitting Ability 
(``GPTA''), which analyzes the genetics of a dairy bull to predict the 
ability of the bull to transmit commercially important traits, such as 
milk yield, to its daughters. This new technology is superior to the 
traditional method of evaluating dairy bulls for semen production, and 
it became the best indicator of a dairy bull's

[[Page 40157]]

commercial value for transmitting genetic traits.
    In October 2008, more than two years after entering into the CRADA, 
NAAB approved a resolution that regulated its members' access to the 
new technology during the exclusivity period granted by the CRADA 
(through February 2013). NAAB acted as a combination of its members 
when it approved the resolution.
    The resolution required that for a NAAB member to obtain the GPTA 
of a dairy bull, the Member had to have one of the following interests 
in the bull: (a) Own the bull, (b) have an agreement to purchase at 
least a 30 percent interest in the bull, (c) have a lease on the bull, 
or (d) have an exclusive marketing agreement for the bull. The USDA 
laboratory was the only source of GPTAs during the exclusivity period.
    The Complaint alleges that NAAB's resolution harmed competition by 
diminishing competition for dairy bulls used for semen production. 
First, it impeded the development of a market in which dairy farmers 
and breeders could pay NAAB members to obtain GPTAs for their dairy 
bulls. Second, the resolution limited NAAB members from obtaining the 
GPTA of bulls in which they did not already have a financial interest. 
Access to a bull's GPTA prior to buying or selling it would tend to 
increase competition and drive the price of the bull toward a value 
that more accurately reflects its ability to yield higher producing 
dairy cows. After the exclusivity period expired in February 2013, 
GPTAs became available for a fee through an industry organization.
    The Complaint alleges that the purpose, effect, tendency or 
capacity of the resolution was to restrain competition unreasonably 
among NAAB's Members, and that this conduct injured dairy farmers and 
breeders by depriving them of the benefits of free and open 
competition. Therefore, the resolution constitutes an unfair method of 
competition that violates Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission 
Act.

II. The Proposed Order

    The Proposed Order has the following substantive provisions. 
Paragraph II requires NAAB to cease and desist from restraining the 
ability of its members to obtain, disclose, provide, use or sell any 
technology or information resulting from research projects conducted 
by, or pursuant to, an agreement to which NAAB is a party. The Proposed 
Order also prohibits NAAB from restraining price-related competition 
among its members relating to the sale or acquisition of bulls or bull 
semen.
    A proviso to Paragraph II specifies that the Proposed Order does 
not prohibit NAAB from engaging in any conduct that is reasonably 
necessary to achieve procompetitive benefits or efficiencies relating 
to NAAB's operation or to the operation of its members, provided that 
such benefits or efficiencies likely would offset the anticompetitive 
harms.
    Paragraph III requires that, for five years, NAAB notify the 
Commission if it adopts or modifies any regulation that restrains the 
ability of its members to obtain disclose, provide, sell or use any 
technology or information resulting from any research project.
    Paragraph V of the Proposed Order requires that NAAB implement an 
antitrust compliance program to ensure compliance with the Proposed 
Order and the antitrust laws.
    Paragraphs IV and VI-VIII of the Proposed Order impose certain 
standard reporting and compliance requirements on NAAB.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-17880 Filed 8-23-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P