Public Workshop Examining Franchise Rule, 55850-55852 [2020-20006]

Download as PDF 55850 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices HISTORY: Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies: None. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS: Records are maintained in file folders and electronically in a computerized database. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVAL OF RECORDS: BILLING CODE 6705–01–P POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS: Records are retained in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration’s General Records Schedule requirements for financial and procurement records, and with the FCA Comprehensive Records Schedule. ADMINSITRATIVE, TECHNICAL, AND PHYSICAL SAFEGUARDS: FCA implements multiple layers of security to ensure access to records is limited to those with a need-to-know in support of their official duties. Records are physically safeguarded in a secured environment using locked file rooms, file cabinets, or locked offices and other physical safeguards. Computerized records are safeguarded through use of user roles, passwords, firewalls, encryption, and other information technology security measures. Only personnel with a need-to-know in support of their duties have access to the records. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: To obtain a record, contact: Privacy Act Officer, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA 22102–5090, as provided in 12 CFR part 603. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Direct requests for amendments to a record to: Privacy Act Officer, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA 22102–5090, as provided in 12 CFR part 603. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: Address inquiries about this system of records to: Privacy Act Officer, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102–5090. None. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 Dated: September 4, 2020. Dale Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. [FR Doc. 2020–19995 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] Records are retrieved by (1) SF1166a (Voucher and Schedule of Payments) voucher number by year; (2) individual or vendor name; (3) Social Security number or Tax Identification Number (as applicable) and (4) purchase order or contract number; or some combination thereof. EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM: Federal Register Vol. 64, No. 100/ Tuesday, May 25, 1999 page 21875. Vol. 70, No. 183/Thursday, September 22, 2005, page 55621. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Public Workshop Examining Franchise Rule Federal Trade Commission. Public workshop; request for public comment. AGENCY: ACTION: The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) is holding a public workshop relating to its March 13, 2019 Request for Public Comment on the Franchise Rule (‘‘2019 Request for Comment’’). The workshop will explore issues relating to the Franchise Rule’s disclosure requirements, the Rule’s prohibitions against disclaimers, and other issues raised in comments received in response to the 2019 Request for Comment. SUMMARY: The public workshop will be held on November 10, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. ET. The workshop will be held online. Requests to participate as a panelist must be received by October 1, 2020. Any written comments related to the issues discussed at the workshop must be received by December 17, 2020. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment or a request to participate as a panelist online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Filing Comments and Requests to Participate as a Panelist part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine M. Todaro (202–326–3711), Division of Marketing Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Introduction The Commission issued the original Franchise Rule pursuant to its authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to proscribe unfair or deceptive acts or practices.1 The 1 Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a), prohibits ‘‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 primary purpose of the Rule is to provide prospective purchasers of franchises the material information they need in order to weigh the risks and benefits of such an investment by providing disclosure requirements in a uniform format that facilitates comparison shopping.2 The Commission adopted the Rule on December 21, 1978, and it became fully effective on July 21, 1979.3 In 1995, the Commission announced a regulatory review of the Franchise Rule.4 That proceeding, which concluded that the Rule was still needed but could be improved, led to amendments to the Rule issued in 2007 (the ‘‘Amended Rule’’), which took effect on July 1, 2008.5 The Amended Rule, among other changes, sought to reduce inconsistencies between federal and state pre-sale disclosure requirements and established a set of uniform disclosure requirements in a Franchise Disclosure Document (‘‘FDD’’). Commission staff has continued to work closely with state franchise regulators to promote uniformity regarding franchise disclosure requirements. The Amended Rule requires franchisors to provide prospective franchisees with their FDD at least 14 calendar days before they make any payment or sign a binding agreement in connection with a proposed franchise sale.6 The FDD provides prospective franchise purchasers with 23 items of information material to their investment decision, including the initial fees and estimated initial investment required; the litigation and bankruptcy history of the franchisor, its officers and key executives; the financial performance of existing company owned and franchised outlets; contact information for current and former franchisees; and financial statements reflecting the ability of the franchisor to provide promised services and support. The FDD also includes required disclosure of any restrictions on the sources of goods and services and any required purchases; a franchisee’s contractual obligations in the establishment and operation of the franchise; the terms of any financing offered by the franchisor; the training and assistance provided by the franchisor; the extent to which the franchisee’s outlet is protected from 2 Original Franchise Rule Statement of Basis and Purpose (‘‘Original SBP’’), 43 FR 59614 (Dec. 21, 1978). 3 Id. 4 60 FR 17656 (Apr. 7, 1995). 5 Amended Franchise Rule Statement of Basis and Purpose (‘‘Amended Rule SBP’’), 72 FR 15444 (Mar. 30, 2007). 6 16 CFR 436.2(a). E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices competition by the franchisor and other franchisees; any restrictions on what the franchisee may sell; the circumstances in which the franchise may be prematurely terminated, or the franchisee’s sale or renewal of the franchise refused by the franchisor; how and where any disputes will be resolved; any restrictions on the franchisee’s ability to engage in the same or similar business during and after the termination of the franchise; and the number of outlets created, sold, and closed during the past three years. In addition, if the franchisor makes a financial performance representation, the representation must be disclosed in the FDD. On March 13, 2019, the Commission solicited comments on the Amended Rule as part of its periodic review of its rules and guides.7 The Commission sought comment on a number of general issues, including whether there is a continuing need for the Rule; what modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to prospective franchisees; and what modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to account for changes in relevant technology or economic conditions. The Commission received 39 comments from individuals and entities representing a wide range of viewpoints.8 All commenters agreed that there is a continuing need for the Rule.9 Several commenters, however, proposed changes to the Rule, including to the form and substance of the disclosures. II. Issues for Discussion at the Workshop As part of the Franchise Rule regulatory review, the FTC has decided to seek additional information about the proposed modifications raised by the commenters. The workshop will cover such topics as: (1) Item 19 financial performance representations; (2) The use of disclaimers; and (3) The format of the FDD. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 7 Franchise Rule, Request for Comment, 84 FR 9051 (March 13, 2019). 8 The comments are posted at: https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2019-00140001. The Commission has assigned each comment a number appearing after the name of the commenter and the date of submission. This notice cites comments using the last name of the individual submitter or the name of the organization, followed by the number assigned by the Commission. 9 See, e.g., International Franchise Association, FTC–2019–0014–0008; Congress of the United States—Members of Congress, FTC–2019–0014– 0003; North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., FTC–2019–0014–0032. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 An agenda will be published at a later date, in advance of the scheduled workshop. III. Public Participation Information A. Workshop Attendance The workshop is free and open to the public, and will be held online. It will be webcast live on the FTC’s website. This event may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image—and anything you say or submit—may be posted indefinitely at https:// www.ftc.gov or on one of the Commission’s publicly available social media sites. B. Requests To Participate as a Panelist The workshop will be organized into panels, which will address the designated topics. Panelists will be selected by FTC staff. Other attendees will have an opportunity to comment and ask questions. The Commission will place a transcript of the proceeding on the public record. Requests to participate as a panelist must be received on or before October 1, 2020, as explained in Section IV below. Persons selected as panelists will be notified on or before October 17, 2020. Disclosing funding sources promotes transparency, ensures objectivity, and maintains the public’s trust. If chosen, prospective panelists will be required to disclose the source of any support they received in connection with participation at the workshop. This information will be included in the published panelist bios as part of the workshop record. C. Electronic and Paper Comments The submission of comments is not required for participation in the workshop. If a person wishes to submit electronic or paper comments related to the issues discussed at the workshop, such comments should be filed as prescribed in Section IV, and must be received on or before December 17, 2020. IV. Filing Comments and Requests To Participate as a Panelist You can file a comment, or request to participate as a panelist, online or on paper. The deadline to file a comment is December 17, 2020. For Commission staff to consider your request to participate as a panelist, we must receive it by October 1, 2020. Write ‘‘Franchise Rule, 16 CFR 436, Comment, Matter No. R511003’’ on your comment and ‘‘Franchise Rule, 16 CFR 436, Request to Participate, Matter No. R511003’’ on your request to participate. PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55851 Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including https://www.regulations.gov. Due to the public health emergency in response to the COVID–19 outbreak and the agency’s heightened security screening, postal mail addressed to the Commission will be subject to delay. We strongly encourage you to submit your comments online through the https:// www.regulations.gov website. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, follow the instructions on the web-based form. Because your comment will be placed on the public record, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include 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 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 comments to be withheld from the public record.10 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 https:// www.regulations.gov website—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from that website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the 10 See E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 16 CFR 4.9(c). 10SEN1 55852 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Requests to participate as a panelist at the workshop should be submitted electronically to franchiserule@ftc.gov, or, if mailed, should be submitted in the manner detailed below. Parties are asked to include in their requests a brief statement setting forth their expertise in or knowledge of the issues on which the workshop will focus as well as their contact information, including a telephone number and email address (if available), to enable the FTC to notify them if they are selected. If you file your comment or request on paper, write ‘‘Franchise Rule, 16 CFR part 436, Comment, Matter No. R511003’’ on your comment and on the envelope or ‘‘Franchise Rule, 16 CFR part 436, Request to Participate, Matter No. R511003,’’ on your request and on the envelope, and mail your comment or request to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex F), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment or request to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex F). If possible, submit your paper comment or request to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission website at https://www.ftc.gov 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 December 17, 2020. The Commission will consider all timely requests to participate as a panelist in the workshop that it receives by October 1, 2020. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/siteinformation/privacy-policy. By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Slaughter not participating. April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–20006 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Child Care and Development Fund Plan for States/Territories for FFY 2022–2024 (ACF–118; OMB #0970– 0114) Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, HHS. ACTION: Request for public comment. AGENCY: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is requesting a 3-year extension of the form ACF–118: Child Care and Development Fund Plan for States/ Territories (OMB #0970–0114, expiration 12/31/2021) for FFY 2022– SUMMARY: 2024. There are changes requested to the form to improve formatting and streamline questions. DATES: Comments due within 60 days of publication. In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the ACF is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. ADDRESSES: Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by emailing infocollection@ acf.hhs.gov. Alternatively, copies can also be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), 330 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20201, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. All requests, emailed or written, should be identified by the title of the information collection. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Description: The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan (the Plan) for States and Territories is required from each CCDF Lead agency in accordance with Section 658E of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (CCDBG Act), as amended, CCDBG Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113–186), and 42 U.S.C. 9858. The Plan, submitted on the ACF–118, is required triennially, and remains in effect for 3 years. The Plan provides ACF and the public with a description of, and assurance about the states’ and territories’ child care programs. These Plans are the applications for CCDF funds. Respondents: State and Territory Lead Agencies. ANNUAL BURDEN ESTIMATES Instrument Total number of respondents Total number of responses per respondent Average burden hours per response Total burden hours Annual burden hours 56 1 200 11,200 3,733 Child Care and Development Fund Plan for States and Territories (ACF–118) ....................................................... khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,733. Comments: The Department specifically requests comments on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Authority: Pub. L. 113–186 and 42 U.S.C. 9858. John M. Sweet, Jr., ACF/OPRE Certifying Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–19973 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184–43–P E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 176 (Thursday, September 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55850-55852]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20006]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION


Public Workshop Examining Franchise Rule

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Public workshop; request for public comment.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') is 
holding a public workshop relating to its March 13, 2019 Request for 
Public Comment on the Franchise Rule (``2019 Request for Comment''). 
The workshop will explore issues relating to the Franchise Rule's 
disclosure requirements, the Rule's prohibitions against disclaimers, 
and other issues raised in comments received in response to the 2019 
Request for Comment.

DATES: The public workshop will be held on November 10, 2020, from 1:00 
p.m. until 4:30 p.m. ET. The workshop will be held online. Requests to 
participate as a panelist must be received by October 1, 2020. Any 
written comments related to the issues discussed at the workshop must 
be received by December 17, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment or a request to 
participate as a panelist online or on paper, by following the 
instructions in the Filing Comments and Requests to Participate as a 
Panelist part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine M. Todaro (202-326-3711), 
Division of Marketing Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal 
Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The Commission issued the original Franchise Rule pursuant to its 
authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to 
proscribe unfair or deceptive acts or practices.\1\ The primary purpose 
of the Rule is to provide prospective purchasers of franchises the 
material information they need in order to weigh the risks and benefits 
of such an investment by providing disclosure requirements in a uniform 
format that facilitates comparison shopping.\2\ The Commission adopted 
the Rule on December 21, 1978, and it became fully effective on July 
21, 1979.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 
45(a), prohibits ``unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or 
affecting commerce.''
    \2\ Original Franchise Rule Statement of Basis and Purpose 
(``Original SBP''), 43 FR 59614 (Dec. 21, 1978).
    \3\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 1995, the Commission announced a regulatory review of the 
Franchise Rule.\4\ That proceeding, which concluded that the Rule was 
still needed but could be improved, led to amendments to the Rule 
issued in 2007 (the ``Amended Rule''), which took effect on July 1, 
2008.\5\ The Amended Rule, among other changes, sought to reduce 
inconsistencies between federal and state pre-sale disclosure 
requirements and established a set of uniform disclosure requirements 
in a Franchise Disclosure Document (``FDD''). Commission staff has 
continued to work closely with state franchise regulators to promote 
uniformity regarding franchise disclosure requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ 60 FR 17656 (Apr. 7, 1995).
    \5\ Amended Franchise Rule Statement of Basis and Purpose 
(``Amended Rule SBP''), 72 FR 15444 (Mar. 30, 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Amended Rule requires franchisors to provide prospective 
franchisees with their FDD at least 14 calendar days before they make 
any payment or sign a binding agreement in connection with a proposed 
franchise sale.\6\ The FDD provides prospective franchise purchasers 
with 23 items of information material to their investment decision, 
including the initial fees and estimated initial investment required; 
the litigation and bankruptcy history of the franchisor, its officers 
and key executives; the financial performance of existing company owned 
and franchised outlets; contact information for current and former 
franchisees; and financial statements reflecting the ability of the 
franchisor to provide promised services and support. The FDD also 
includes required disclosure of any restrictions on the sources of 
goods and services and any required purchases; a franchisee's 
contractual obligations in the establishment and operation of the 
franchise; the terms of any financing offered by the franchisor; the 
training and assistance provided by the franchisor; the extent to which 
the franchisee's outlet is protected from

[[Page 55851]]

competition by the franchisor and other franchisees; any restrictions 
on what the franchisee may sell; the circumstances in which the 
franchise may be prematurely terminated, or the franchisee's sale or 
renewal of the franchise refused by the franchisor; how and where any 
disputes will be resolved; any restrictions on the franchisee's ability 
to engage in the same or similar business during and after the 
termination of the franchise; and the number of outlets created, sold, 
and closed during the past three years. In addition, if the franchisor 
makes a financial performance representation, the representation must 
be disclosed in the FDD.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ 16 CFR 436.2(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On March 13, 2019, the Commission solicited comments on the Amended 
Rule as part of its periodic review of its rules and guides.\7\ The 
Commission sought comment on a number of general issues, including 
whether there is a continuing need for the Rule; what modifications, if 
any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to prospective 
franchisees; and what modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule 
to account for changes in relevant technology or economic conditions. 
The Commission received 39 comments from individuals and entities 
representing a wide range of viewpoints.\8\ All commenters agreed that 
there is a continuing need for the Rule.\9\ Several commenters, 
however, proposed changes to the Rule, including to the form and 
substance of the disclosures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Franchise Rule, Request for Comment, 84 FR 9051 (March 13, 
2019).
    \8\ The comments are posted at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2019-0014-0001. The Commission has assigned each 
comment a number appearing after the name of the commenter and the 
date of submission. This notice cites comments using the last name 
of the individual submitter or the name of the organization, 
followed by the number assigned by the Commission.
    \9\ See, e.g., International Franchise Association, FTC-2019-
0014-0008; Congress of the United States--Members of Congress, FTC-
2019-0014-0003; North American Securities Administrators 
Association, Inc., FTC-2019-0014-0032.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Issues for Discussion at the Workshop

    As part of the Franchise Rule regulatory review, the FTC has 
decided to seek additional information about the proposed modifications 
raised by the commenters. The workshop will cover such topics as:
    (1) Item 19 financial performance representations;
    (2) The use of disclaimers; and
    (3) The format of the FDD.
    An agenda will be published at a later date, in advance of the 
scheduled workshop.

III. Public Participation Information

A. Workshop Attendance

    The workshop is free and open to the public, and will be held 
online. It will be webcast live on the FTC's website. This event may be 
photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By 
participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image--and 
anything you say or submit--may be posted indefinitely at https://www.ftc.gov or on one of the Commission's publicly available social 
media sites.

B. Requests To Participate as a Panelist

    The workshop will be organized into panels, which will address the 
designated topics. Panelists will be selected by FTC staff. Other 
attendees will have an opportunity to comment and ask questions. The 
Commission will place a transcript of the proceeding on the public 
record. Requests to participate as a panelist must be received on or 
before October 1, 2020, as explained in Section IV below. Persons 
selected as panelists will be notified on or before October 17, 2020.
    Disclosing funding sources promotes transparency, ensures 
objectivity, and maintains the public's trust. If chosen, prospective 
panelists will be required to disclose the source of any support they 
received in connection with participation at the workshop. This 
information will be included in the published panelist bios as part of 
the workshop record.

C. Electronic and Paper Comments

    The submission of comments is not required for participation in the 
workshop. If a person wishes to submit electronic or paper comments 
related to the issues discussed at the workshop, such comments should 
be filed as prescribed in Section IV, and must be received on or before 
December 17, 2020.

IV. Filing Comments and Requests To Participate as a Panelist

    You can file a comment, or request to participate as a panelist, 
online or on paper. The deadline to file a comment is December 17, 
2020. For Commission staff to consider your request to participate as a 
panelist, we must receive it by October 1, 2020. Write ``Franchise 
Rule, 16 CFR 436, Comment, Matter No. R511003'' on your comment and 
``Franchise Rule, 16 CFR 436, Request to Participate, Matter No. 
R511003'' on your request to participate. Your comment--including your 
name and your state--will be placed on the public record of this 
proceeding, including https://www.regulations.gov.
    Due to the public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 
outbreak and the agency's heightened security screening, postal mail 
addressed to the Commission will be subject to delay. We strongly 
encourage you to submit your comments online through the https://www.regulations.gov website. To make sure that the Commission considers 
your online comment, follow the instructions on the web-based form.
    Because your comment will be placed on the public record, you are 
solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include 
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 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 comments to be withheld from 
the public record.\10\ 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 https://www.regulations.gov website--as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)--we 
cannot redact or remove your comment from that website, unless you 
submit a confidentiality request that meets the

[[Page 55852]]

requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General 
Counsel grants that request.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See 16 CFR 4.9(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Requests to participate as a panelist at the workshop should be 
submitted electronically to [email protected], or, if mailed, 
should be submitted in the manner detailed below. Parties are asked to 
include in their requests a brief statement setting forth their 
expertise in or knowledge of the issues on which the workshop will 
focus as well as their contact information, including a telephone 
number and email address (if available), to enable the FTC to notify 
them if they are selected.
    If you file your comment or request on paper, write ``Franchise 
Rule, 16 CFR part 436, Comment, Matter No. R511003'' on your comment 
and on the envelope or ``Franchise Rule, 16 CFR part 436, Request to 
Participate, Matter No. R511003,'' on your request and on the envelope, 
and mail your comment or request to the following address: Federal 
Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 
Suite CC-5610 (Annex F), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment 
or request to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex F). If possible, submit your paper comment or request 
to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission website at https://www.ftc.gov 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 December 17, 2020. The Commission will 
consider all timely requests to participate as a panelist in the 
workshop that it receives by October 1, 2020. 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.

    By direction of the Commission, Commissioner Slaughter not 
participating.
April J. Tabor,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2020-20006 Filed 9-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P