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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The information collection requirements described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) is seeking public comments on its proposal to extend through October 31, 2011 the current OMB clearance for information collection requirements contained in its Amplifier Rule. That clearance expires on October 31, 2008.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by August 18, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Amplifier Rule: FTC Project No. P974222” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex J), 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Moreover, because paper mail in the Washington area and at the Agency is subject to delay, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form, as prescribed below. If, however, the comment contains any material for which confidential treatment is requested, it must be filed in paper form, and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled “Confidential.”1

Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by using the following weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-AmplifierPRA) (and following the instructions on the web-based form). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form at the weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-AmplifierPRA). If this notice appears at (www.regulations.gov), you may also file an electronic comment through that website. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it.

The FTC Act and other laws 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, whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, at www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC website. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy at (http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be addressed to Jock K. Chung, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, NJ-2122, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2984.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). As required by section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB extend the existing paperwork clearance for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission’s Trade Regulation Rule entitled Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products (“Amplifier Rule” or “Rule”), 16 CFR Part 432 (OMB Control Number 3084-0105).

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, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before August 18, 2008.

The Amplifier Rule assists consumers by standardizing the measurement and disclosure of power output and other performance characteristics of amplifiers in stereos and other home entertainment equipment. The Rule also specifies the test conditions necessary to make the disclosures that the Rule requires.

Estimated annual hours burden: 450 hours (300 testing-related hours; 150 disclosure-related hours).

The Rule's provisions require affected entities to test the power output of amplifiers in accordance with a specified FTC protocol. The Commission staff estimates that approximately 300 new amplifiers and receivers come on the market each year. High fidelity manufacturers routinely conduct performance tests on these new products prior to sale. Because manufacturers conduct such tests, the Rule imposes no additional costs except to the extent that the FTC protocol is more time-consuming than alternative testing procedures. In this regard, a warm-up (“precondition”) period that the Rule requires before measurements are taken may add approximately one hour to the time testing would otherwise entail. Thus, staff estimates that the Rule imposes approximately 300 hours (1 hour x 300 new products) of added testing burden annually.

In addition, the Rule requires disclosures if a manufacturer makes a power output claim for a covered product in an advertisement, specification sheet, or product brochure. This requirement does not impose any additional costs on manufacturers because, absent the Rule, media Start Printed Page 34751advertisements, as well as manufacturer specification sheets and product brochures, would contain a power specification obtained using an alternative to the Rule-required testing protocol. The Rule, however, also requires disclosure of harmonic distortion, power bandwidth, and impedance ratings in manufacturer specification sheets and product brochures that might not otherwise be included.

Staff assumes that manufacturers produce one specification sheet and one brochure each year for each new amplifier and receiver. The burden of disclosing the harmonic distortion, bandwidth, and impedance information on the specification sheets and brochures is limited to the time needed to draft and review the language pertaining to the aforementioned specifications. Staff estimates the time involved for this task to be a maximum of fifteen minutes for each new specification sheet and brochure for a total of 150 hours ([300 new products x 1 specification sheet) + (300 new products x 1 brochure)] x 15 minutes).

The total annual burden imposed by the Rule, therefore, is approximately 450 burden hours for testing and disclosures.

Estimated annual cost burden: $19,000, rounded to the nearest thousand.2

Generally, electronics engineers perform the testing of amplifiers and receivers. Staff estimates a labor cost of $12,300 for such testing (300 hours for testing x $41 per hour). Staff assumes advertising or promotions managers prepare the disclosures contained in product brochures and manufacturer specification sheet and estimates a labor cost of $6,600 (150 hours for disclosures x $44 per hour). Accordingly, staff estimates the total labor costs associated with the Rule to be approximately $19,000 per year, rounded to the nearest thousand ($12,300 for testing + $6,600 for disclosures).

The Rule imposes no capital or other non-labor costs because its requirements are incidental to testing and advertising done in the ordinary course of business.

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David C. Shonka

Acting General Counsel

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Footnotes

1. FTC Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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2. Staff’s labor cost estimates are based on recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

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[FR Doc. E8-13660 Filed 6-17-08: 8:45 am]

[Billing code: 6750-01-S]