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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC or 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 (PRA). The FTC seeks public comments on its proposal to extend through December 31, 2017, the current PRA clearance for information collection requirements contained in its 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). That clearance expires on December 31, 2014.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2014.

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 “Amplifier Rule: FTC File No. P974222” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​amplifierrulepra by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for copies of the collection of information and supporting documentation should be addressed to Jock K. Chung, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Mail Code CC-9528, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2984.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Proposed Information Collection Activities

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, Federal agencies must get OMB approval for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or require. “Collection of information” means 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). 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 PRA clearance for the information collection requirements associated with the Commission's Amplifier 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. All comments must be received on or before October 17, 2014.

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.

Amplifier Rule Burden Statement

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 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 advertisements, 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 Start Printed Page 48749of fifteen minutes (or 0.25 hours) for each new specification sheet and brochure for a total of 150 hours (derived from [300 new products x 1 specification sheet) + (300 new products x 1 brochure)] x 0.25 hours).

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

Estimated annual cost burden: $22,200.

Generally, electronics engineers perform the testing of amplifiers and receivers. Staff estimates a labor cost of $14,100 for such testing (300 hours for testing × $47 mean hourly wages). Staff assumes advertising or promotions managers prepare the disclosures contained in product brochures and manufacturer specification sheet and estimates a labor cost of $8,100 (150 hours for disclosures x $54 mean hourly wages). Accordingly, staff estimates the total labor costs associated with the Rule to be approximately $22,200 per year ($14,100 for testing + $8,100 for disclosures).[1]

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.

Request for Comments

You can file a comment online or on paper. Write “Amplifier Rule: FTC File No. P974222” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like a 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, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as discussed in 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). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).[2] Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, the Commission encourages you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​amplifierrulepra by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

If you file your comment on paper, write “Amplifier Rule: FTC File No. P974222” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it 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. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

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 October 17, 2014. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

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David C. Shonka,

Principal Deputy General Counsel.

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Footnotes

1.  The wage rates for electronics engineers and advertising and promotions managers are based on recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey at http://www.bls.gov/​news.release/​ocwage.htm.

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2.  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), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. 2014-19504 Filed 8-15-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P