An FTC subpoena is a legal document issued by the Federal Trade Commission that requires individuals or companies to provide documents or testimony related to an ongoing investigation by the FTC.
A subpoena is a tool the FTC uses to gather information and evidence to help determine if a company or individual has engaged in unfair or deceptive practices or violated antitrust laws.
If an individual or company fails to comply with an FTC subpoena, the FTC can seek enforcement through a court order.
Depending on the severity of the offense, the investigations can lead to administrative, civil, or criminal enforcement proceedings.
The FTC can use 3 types of subpoenas to gather evidence to obtain records and information from the parties involved. These are:
- Civil investigative demands
- Commission-issued subpoenas
- Judicial subpoenas
Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs)
CIDs are a form of administrative subpoena that the FTC can issue directly to the parties involved.
CIDs require not only the production of records and testimony but also written reports or answers.
Responding to a CID can be time-consuming, and entities must act promptly to avoid missing response deadlines.
The FTC can issue Commission-issued subpoenas without judicial approval.
These subpoenas can compel the production of documents and oral testimony, which FTC personnel can take directly.
The FTC routinely uses its subpoena power to investigate allegations of unfair competition and anti-competitive market practices.
Judicial subpoenas can be used in appropriate circumstances.
This includes grand jury subpoenas issued when evidence obtained through other investigative means supports criminal charges.
Companies and individuals served with judicial subpoenas must comply or face severe consequences, including contempt proceedings and negative inferences in the underlying litigation.
Having a competent FTC lawyer is crucial if the suing you or your company.
Not having proper legal representation can result in costly mistakes that may ruin your case.
However, you can halt typical FTC actions with the right attorney advocating for your interests.