The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") released FAQs for small businesses on what to do when you have received a Civil Investigative Demand from the FTC. The FAQs -- authored by the Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection -- provide great guidance for companies who aren't familiar with the FTC's CID process. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Immediately after getting a CID, you should contact the FTC and arrange a "meet and confer" to set the schedule for responding to the CID and to address other preliminary issues;
2. Once you receive a CID, you shouldn't destroy any documents that could be reasonably related to the FTC's investigation;
3. It may take some time for the FTC to review your submission, but ordinarily the FTC will update you within 6 months after you have completed your submission; and
4. Ordinarily, the FTC won't disclose that an investigation is taking place, or any of the materials that you've supplied, unless the FTC decides to bring an action.
So you’ve received a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) from the Federal Trade Commission related to a consumer protection matter. Now what?