Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request, 10072-10074 [2019-05081]

Download as PDF 10072 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Notices A. Cox, III as Trustee, Fontana, Wisconsin, Maureen T. Cox-Scanlon GST Trust, Maureen T. Cox-Scanlon as Trustee, Downers Grove, Illinois, Michael J. Cox GST Trust, Michael J. Cox as Trustee, Rosemary P. CoxConway GST Trust, Rosemary P. CoxConway as Trustee, Thomas M. Cox GST Trust, Thomas M. Cox as Trustee, Robert J. Cox GST Trust, Robert J. Cox as Trustee, Catherine M. Cox Murphy GST Trust, Catherine M. Cox Murphy as Trustee, Margaret M. Cox-Petrucelli GST Trust, Margaret M. Cox-Petrucelli as Trustee, Mary H. Cox-Coffey GST Trust, and Mary H. Cox Coffey as Trustee, all of Oak Brook, Illinois; to acquire voting shares of Rush-Oak Corporation, and thereby indirectly acquire Oak Bank, both of Chicago, Illinois. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 14, 2019. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2019–05161 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The FTC plans to ask the Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) to extend for an additional three years the current Paperwork Reduction Act (‘‘PRA’’) clearance for information collection requirements contained in the Mail, internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule (MITOR). That clearance expires on May 31, 2019. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comments part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act: FTC File No. P072108’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the webbased form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jock Chung, 202–326–2984, Attorney, Enforcement Division, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Mail Drop CC–9528, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Originally known as the Mail Order Merchandise Rule, the MITOR, 16 CFR part 435 was promulgated in 1975 in response to consumer complaints that many merchants were failing to ship merchandise ordered by mail on time, failing to ship at all, or failing to provide prompt refunds for unshipped merchandise. The Commission amended the Rule, effective on March 1, 1994, to include merchandise ordered by telephone, including by telefax or by computer through the use of a modem (e.g., internet sales), and renamed it the ‘‘Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule.’’ In 2014, the Commission amended the Rule, effective December 8, 2014, to clarify that the Rule covers all internet merchandise orders and permits flexibility in making refunds and refund notices, including refund obligations for non-enumerated payments. 79 FR 55615 (Sept. 17, 2014). Generally, the MITOR requires a merchant to: (1) Have a reasonable basis for any express or implied shipment representation made in soliciting the sale (if no express time period is promised, the implied shipment representation is 30 days); (2) notify the consumer and obtain the consumer’s consent to any delay in shipment; and (3) make prompt and full refunds when the consumer exercises a cancellation option or the merchant is unable to meet the Rule’s other requirements.1 Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, Federal agencies must get OMB approval for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. ‘‘Collection of information’’ includes agency requests or requirements to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). The FTC is seeking renewed clearance for the 1 The MITOR does not impose a recordkeeping requirement per se. Title 16 CFR 435.1(d) provides, however, that in an action for noncompliance, the absence of records that establish that a respondentseller uses systems and procedures to assure compliance will create a rebuttable presumption that the seller was not compliant. Merchants customarily keep records regarding their systems and procedures in the ordinary course of business, but their retention of these documents does not constitute a ‘‘collection of information’’ under OMB’s regulations that implement the PRA. See 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2). PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information collection requirements associated with the Commission’s rules and regulations under the MITOR (OMB Control Number 3084–0106). Burden Estimates Estimated total annual hours burden: 2,692,350 hours. In its 2016 PRA-related Federal Register Notices 2 and corresponding submission to OMB, FTC staff estimated that established companies each spend an average of 50 hours per year on compliance with the Rule, and that new industry entrants spend an average of 230 hours (an industry estimate) for compliance measures associated with start-up.3 Thus, the total estimated hours burden was calculated by multiplying the estimated number of established companies × 50 hours, multiplying the estimated number of new entrants × 230 hours, and adding the two products. No substantive provisions in the Rule have been amended or changed since staff’s 2016 submission to OMB. Thus, the Rule’s disclosure requirements remain the same. Moreover, the Commission received no public comments regarding the above-noted estimates; thus, staff will apply them to the current PRA burden analysis. Since the prior submission to OMB, however, the number of businesses engaged in the sale of merchandise subject to the MITOR has increased. The most currently available data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that, between 2005 and 2016, the number of businesses subject to the MITOR grew from 15,924 to 37,206, or an average increase of 1,935 new businesses a year [(37,206 businesses in 2016¥15,924 businesses in 2005) ÷ 11 years].4 Assuming this growth rate continues in 2019 through 2022, the average number of established businesses during the three-year period for which OMB 2 81 FR 2860 (Jan. 19, 2016); 81 FR 21549 (Apr. 12, 2016). 3 Most of the estimated start-up time relates to the development and installation of computer systems geared to more efficiently handle customer orders. 4 Conceptually, this might understate the number of new entrants. Given the virtually unlimited diversity of retail establishments, it is very unlikely that there is a reliable external measure; nonetheless, as in the past, the Commission invites public comment that might better inform these estimates. For example, many online marketplace sellers that use Amazon.com Inc’s marketplace to sell to customers have agreements which provide that Amazon handles packaging and shipping the products to customers. Whether Amazon.com is also the entity responsible for sending customers delay notices when necessary could affect which entity is subject to MITOR disclosure requirements, Amazon or the individual marketplace seller. E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 10073 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Notices clearance is sought for the Rule would be 44,946: 5 Established businesses Year: 2019–20 2020–21 2021–22 Average: ................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................... In an average year during the threeyear OMB clearance period, staff estimates that established businesses and new entrants will devote 2,692,350 hours to comply with the MITOR [(44,946 established businesses × 50 hours) + (1,935 new entrants × 230 hours) = 2,692,350]. The estimated PRA burden per merchant to comply with the MITOR is likely overstated because much of the estimated time burden for disclosurerelated compliance would arguably be incurred even absent the Rule. Over the years, industry trade associations and individual witnesses have consistently taken the position that providing consumers with notice about the status of their orders fosters consumer loyalty and encourages repeat purchases, which are important to marketers’ success. In recent years, the demands of the internet’s online marketplace and its leading retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Ebay.com have driven many businesses to upgrade the information management systems to track and ship orders more effectively.6 These upgrades were primarily prompted by the industry’s need to deal with growing consumer demand for merchandise that is timely shipped. Accordingly, most companies now provide updated order information of the kind required by the Rule in their ordinary course of business to meet consumer expectations regarding timely shipment, notification of delay, and prompt and full refunds.7 Estimated labor costs: $63,862,542. FTC staff derived labor costs by applying appropriate hourly cost figures to the burden hours described above. According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics,8 the mean hourly income for workers in sales and related occupations was $23.72/hour. The bulk of the burden of complying with the MITOR is borne by clerical personnel along with assistance from sales personnel. Staff believes that the mean hourly income for workers in sales and related occupations is an appropriate measure of a direct marketer’s average labor cost to comply with the Rule. Thus, the total annual labor cost to new and established businesses for MITOR compliance during the three-year period for which OMB approval is sought would be approximately $63,862,542 (2,692,350 hours × $23.72/hr.). Relative to direct industry sales, this total is negligible.9 Estimated annual non-labor cost burden: $0 or minimal. The applicable requirements impose minimal start-up costs, as businesses subject to the Rule generally have or obtain necessary equipment for other business purposes, i.e., inventory and order management, and customer relations. For the same reason, staff anticipates printing and copying costs to be minimal, especially given that mail, internet, and telephone order merchants have increasingly turned to electronic communications to notify consumers of delay and to provide cancellation options. Staff believes that the above requirements necessitate ongoing, regular training so that covered entities stay current and have a clear understanding of federal mandates, but that this would be a small portion of, and subsumed within, the ordinary training that employees receive apart from that associated with the information collected under the Rule. 5 As noted above, the existing OMB clearance for the Rule expires on May 31, 2019, and the FTC is seeking to extend the clearance for three years. 6 Brian Baskin, ‘‘Amazon’s Free Shipping Pushes Small Retailers, Delivery Firms to Compete,’’ The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 8, 2017, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-freeshipping-pushes-small-retailers-delivery-firms-tocompete-1491649203. 7 Under the OMB regulation implementing the PRA, burden is defined to exclude any effort that would be expended regardless of any regulatory requirement. 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2). 8 See Table 1, National employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey by occupation, May 2017, at https:// www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.t01.htm. 9 Considering that sales for ‘‘electronic shopping and mail order houses’’ grew from $295 billion in 2011 to $434 billion in 2015 (according to ‘‘Estimated Annual U.S. Retail Trade Sales—Total and E-commerce: 1998–2015,’’ available at https:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 Request for Comments The FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43,011 44,946 46,881 44,946 New entrants 1,935 1,935 1,935 1,935 performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before May 20, 2019. Write ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act: FTC File No. P072108’’ on your comment. 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, or to send them to the Commission by courier or overnight service. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it through the https://www.regulations.gov website by following the instructions on the webbased form. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, including the https://www.regulations.gov website. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on www.regulations.gov. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Paperwork Reduction Act: FTC File No. P072108’’ 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 J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your www.census.gov/data/tables/2015/econ/arts/ annual-report.html, staff estimates the annual mail, internet, or telephone sales to consumers in the three-year period for which OMB clearance is sought will average $607 billion. Thus, the projected average labor cost for MITOR compliance by existing and new businesses for that period would amount to 0.01% of sales. E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 10074 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 / Notices comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), 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 website at www.regulations.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 publicly at www.regulations.gov, we cannot redact or remove your comment 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. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Mar 18, 2019 Jkt 247001 public comments that it receives on or before May 20, 2019. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at https:// www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacypolicy. Heather Hippsley, Deputy General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2019–05081 Filed 3–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The FTC intends to ask the Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) to extend for an additional three years the current Paperwork Reduction Act (‘‘PRA’’) clearance for the FTC’s enforcement of the information collection requirements in its regulation ‘‘Duties of Furnishers of Information to Consumer Reporting Agencies’’ (‘‘Information Furnishers Rule’’), which applies to certain motor vehicle dealers, and its shared enforcement with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (‘‘BCFP’’) of the furnisher provisions (subpart E) of the BCFP’s Regulation V regarding other entities. That clearance expires on June 30, 2019. DATES: Comments must be filed by May 20, 2019. 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 ‘‘Information Furnishers Rule, PRA Comment, P135407,’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov/, by following the instructions on the webbased form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), 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 J), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tiffany George (202–326–3040), Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, CC–8232, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Dodd-Frank Act,1 most of the FTC’s rulemaking authority for the furnisher provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (‘‘FCRA’’) 2 transferred to the BCFP. The FTC, however, retained its furnishers rulemaking authority for motor vehicle dealers that are predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both.3 In addition, the FTC retained its authority to enforce the furnisher provisions of the FCRA and rules issued under those provisions. Thus, the FTC and BCFP have overlapping enforcement authority for many entities subject to BCFP’s Regulation V (subpart E) and the FTC has sole enforcement authority for the motor vehicle dealers subject to the FTC rule. Under section 660.3 of the FTC’s Information Furnishers Rule 4 and section 1022.42 of the BCFP Rule,5 furnishers must establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of the information relating to consumers that they furnish to a consumer reporting agency (‘‘CRA’’) for inclusion in a consumer report.6 Section 660.4 of the FTC Rule and section 1022.43 of the BCFP Rule require that entities which furnish information about consumers to a CRA respond to direct disputes from consumers. These provisions also require that a furnisher notify consumers by mail or other means (if authorized by the consumer) within five business days after making a determination that a dispute is frivolous or irrelevant (‘‘F/I dispute’’). Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, Federal agencies must get OMB approval for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. ‘‘Collection of information’’ includes agency requests or requirements to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 1 Public Law 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). U.S.C. 1681 et seq. 3 See Dodd-Frank Act, § 1029(a), (c). 4 16 CFR part 660. 5 12 CFR part 1022. 6 The rule also provides that an entity is not a furnisher when it: Provides information to a CRA solely to obtain a consumer report for a permissible purpose under the FCRA; is acting as a CRA as defined in section 603(f) of the FCRA; is an individual consumer to whom the furnished information pertains; or is a neighbor, friend, or associate of the consumer, or another individual with whom the consumer is acquainted or who may have knowledge about the consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living in response to a specific request from a CRA. 2 15 E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10072-10074]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05081]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION


Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The FTC plans to ask the Office of Management and Budget 
(``OMB'') to extend for an additional three years the current Paperwork 
Reduction Act (``PRA'') clearance for information collection 
requirements contained in the Mail, internet, or Telephone Order 
Merchandise Rule (MITOR). That clearance expires on May 31, 2019.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 20, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comments part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Paperwork Reduction 
Act: FTC File No. P072108'' on your comment, and file your comment 
online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on 
the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), 
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 J), Washington, DC 
20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jock Chung, 202-326-2984, Attorney, 
Enforcement Division, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW, Mail Drop CC-9528, Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Originally known as the Mail Order 
Merchandise Rule, the MITOR, 16 CFR part 435 was promulgated in 1975 in 
response to consumer complaints that many merchants were failing to 
ship merchandise ordered by mail on time, failing to ship at all, or 
failing to provide prompt refunds for unshipped merchandise. The 
Commission amended the Rule, effective on March 1, 1994, to include 
merchandise ordered by telephone, including by telefax or by computer 
through the use of a modem (e.g., internet sales), and renamed it the 
``Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule.'' In 2014, the Commission 
amended the Rule, effective December 8, 2014, to clarify that the Rule 
covers all internet merchandise orders and permits flexibility in 
making refunds and refund notices, including refund obligations for 
non-enumerated payments. 79 FR 55615 (Sept. 17, 2014).
    Generally, the MITOR requires a merchant to: (1) Have a reasonable 
basis for any express or implied shipment representation made in 
soliciting the sale (if no express time period is promised, the implied 
shipment representation is 30 days); (2) notify the consumer and obtain 
the consumer's consent to any delay in shipment; and (3) make prompt 
and full refunds when the consumer exercises a cancellation option or 
the merchant is unable to meet the Rule's other requirements.\1\
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    \1\ The MITOR does not impose a recordkeeping requirement per 
se. Title 16 CFR 435.1(d) provides, however, that in an action for 
noncompliance, the absence of records that establish that a 
respondent-seller uses systems and procedures to assure compliance 
will create a rebuttable presumption that the seller was not 
compliant. Merchants customarily keep records regarding their 
systems and procedures in the ordinary course of business, but their 
retention of these documents does not constitute a ``collection of 
information'' under OMB's regulations that implement the PRA. See 5 
CFR 1320.3(b)(2).
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    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, Federal agencies must get OMB 
approval for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. 
``Collection of information'' includes agency requests or requirements 
to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third 
party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). The FTC is seeking renewed 
clearance for the information collection requirements associated with 
the Commission's rules and regulations under the MITOR (OMB Control 
Number 3084-0106).

Burden Estimates

    Estimated total annual hours burden: 2,692,350 hours.
    In its 2016 PRA-related Federal Register Notices \2\ and 
corresponding submission to OMB, FTC staff estimated that established 
companies each spend an average of 50 hours per year on compliance with 
the Rule, and that new industry entrants spend an average of 230 hours 
(an industry estimate) for compliance measures associated with start-
up.\3\ Thus, the total estimated hours burden was calculated by 
multiplying the estimated number of established companies x 50 hours, 
multiplying the estimated number of new entrants x 230 hours, and 
adding the two products.
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    \2\ 81 FR 2860 (Jan. 19, 2016); 81 FR 21549 (Apr. 12, 2016).
    \3\ Most of the estimated start-up time relates to the 
development and installation of computer systems geared to more 
efficiently handle customer orders.
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    No substantive provisions in the Rule have been amended or changed 
since staff's 2016 submission to OMB. Thus, the Rule's disclosure 
requirements remain the same. Moreover, the Commission received no 
public comments regarding the above-noted estimates; thus, staff will 
apply them to the current PRA burden analysis.
    Since the prior submission to OMB, however, the number of 
businesses engaged in the sale of merchandise subject to the MITOR has 
increased. The most currently available data from the U.S. Census 
Bureau indicates that, between 2005 and 2016, the number of businesses 
subject to the MITOR grew from 15,924 to 37,206, or an average increase 
of 1,935 new businesses a year [(37,206 businesses in 2016-15,924 
businesses in 2005) / 11 years].\4\ Assuming this growth rate continues 
in 2019 through 2022, the average number of established businesses 
during the three-year period for which OMB

[[Page 10073]]

clearance is sought for the Rule would be 44,946: \5\
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    \4\ Conceptually, this might understate the number of new 
entrants. Given the virtually unlimited diversity of retail 
establishments, it is very unlikely that there is a reliable 
external measure; nonetheless, as in the past, the Commission 
invites public comment that might better inform these estimates. For 
example, many online marketplace sellers that use Amazon.com Inc's 
marketplace to sell to customers have agreements which provide that 
Amazon handles packaging and shipping the products to customers. 
Whether Amazon.com is also the entity responsible for sending 
customers delay notices when necessary could affect which entity is 
subject to MITOR disclosure requirements, Amazon or the individual 
marketplace seller.
    \5\ As noted above, the existing OMB clearance for the Rule 
expires on May 31, 2019, and the FTC is seeking to extend the 
clearance for three years.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Established
                  Year:                     businesses     New entrants
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019-20.................................          43,011           1,935
2020-21.................................          44,946           1,935
2021-22.................................          46,881           1,935
Average:................................          44,946           1,935
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In an average year during the three-year OMB clearance period, 
staff estimates that established businesses and new entrants will 
devote 2,692,350 hours to comply with the MITOR [(44,946 established 
businesses x 50 hours) + (1,935 new entrants x 230 hours) = 2,692,350].
    The estimated PRA burden per merchant to comply with the MITOR is 
likely overstated because much of the estimated time burden for 
disclosure-related compliance would arguably be incurred even absent 
the Rule. Over the years, industry trade associations and individual 
witnesses have consistently taken the position that providing consumers 
with notice about the status of their orders fosters consumer loyalty 
and encourages repeat purchases, which are important to marketers' 
success. In recent years, the demands of the internet's online 
marketplace and its leading retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, 
and Ebay.com have driven many businesses to upgrade the information 
management systems to track and ship orders more effectively.\6\ These 
upgrades were primarily prompted by the industry's need to deal with 
growing consumer demand for merchandise that is timely shipped. 
Accordingly, most companies now provide updated order information of 
the kind required by the Rule in their ordinary course of business to 
meet consumer expectations regarding timely shipment, notification of 
delay, and prompt and full refunds.\7\
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    \6\ Brian Baskin, ``Amazon's Free Shipping Pushes Small 
Retailers, Delivery Firms to Compete,'' The Wall Street Journal, 
Apr. 8, 2017, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-free-shipping-pushes-small-retailers-delivery-firms-to-compete-1491649203.
    \7\ Under the OMB regulation implementing the PRA, burden is 
defined to exclude any effort that would be expended regardless of 
any regulatory requirement. 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2).
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    Estimated labor costs: $63,862,542.
    FTC staff derived labor costs by applying appropriate hourly cost 
figures to the burden hours described above. According to the most 
recent data available from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics,\8\ the 
mean hourly income for workers in sales and related occupations was 
$23.72/hour. The bulk of the burden of complying with the MITOR is 
borne by clerical personnel along with assistance from sales personnel. 
Staff believes that the mean hourly income for workers in sales and 
related occupations is an appropriate measure of a direct marketer's 
average labor cost to comply with the Rule. Thus, the total annual 
labor cost to new and established businesses for MITOR compliance 
during the three-year period for which OMB approval is sought would be 
approximately $63,862,542 (2,692,350 hours x $23.72/hr.). Relative to 
direct industry sales, this total is negligible.\9\
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    \8\ See Table 1, National employment and wage data from the 
Occupational Employment Statistics survey by occupation, May 2017, 
at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.t01.htm.
    \9\ Considering that sales for ``electronic shopping and mail 
order houses'' grew from $295 billion in 2011 to $434 billion in 
2015 (according to ``Estimated Annual U.S. Retail Trade Sales--Total 
and E-commerce: 1998-2015,'' available at https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2015/econ/arts/annual-report.html, staff estimates the 
annual mail, internet, or telephone sales to consumers in the three-
year period for which OMB clearance is sought will average $607 
billion. Thus, the projected average labor cost for MITOR compliance 
by existing and new businesses for that period would amount to 0.01% 
of sales.
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    Estimated annual non-labor cost burden: $0 or minimal.
    The applicable requirements impose minimal start-up costs, as 
businesses subject to the Rule generally have or obtain necessary 
equipment for other business purposes, i.e., inventory and order 
management, and customer relations. For the same reason, staff 
anticipates printing and copying costs to be minimal, especially given 
that mail, internet, and telephone order merchants have increasingly 
turned to electronic communications to notify consumers of delay and to 
provide cancellation options. Staff believes that the above 
requirements necessitate ongoing, regular training so that covered 
entities stay current and have a clear understanding of federal 
mandates, but that this would be a small portion of, and subsumed 
within, the ordinary training that employees receive apart from that 
associated with the information collected under the Rule.

Request for Comments

    The FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways 
to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who 
are to respond.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider 
your comment, we must receive it on or before May 20, 2019. Write 
``Paperwork Reduction Act: FTC File No. P072108'' on your comment. 
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, or to send them to the Commission by courier or 
overnight service. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it through the https://www.regulations.gov website by following the instructions on the web-
based form. Your comment--including your name and your state--will be 
placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, including 
the https://www.regulations.gov website. As a matter of discretion, the 
Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from 
comments before placing them on www.regulations.gov.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Paperwork Reduction Act: 
FTC File No. P072108'' 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 J), 
Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your

[[Page 10074]]

comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of 
the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 
5610 (Annex J), 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 
website at www.regulations.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 publicly at www.regulations.gov, we cannot redact or remove 
your comment 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.
    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 May 20, 2019. 
You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the 
Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

Heather Hippsley,
Deputy General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2019-05081 Filed 3-18-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P