Mr. HYDE (for himself, Mr. GEKAS, and Mr. GOODLATTE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend the Clayton Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. REPEAL OF CLAYTON ACT PROVISION.
Section 11(a) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 21(a)) is amended by striking `in the Federal Communications Commission where applicable to common carriers engaged in wire or radio communication or radio transmission of energy;'.
SEC. 3. PROCEDURAL DEADLINES FOR INDEPENDENT REGULATORY COMMISSIONS.
(a) AMENDMENT- Section 558 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
`(d)(1) Each independent regulatory commission shall promulgate rules of administrative practice and procedure for consideration in a reasonable time, as required by subsection (c), of all applications for the transfer of licenses, or the acquisition and operation of lines for which the commission grants authority. Such rules shall specify--
`(A) procedures for submitting to the party or parties covered by the application requests for documents and information necessary for consideration of the transfer of licenses or acquisition and operation of lines, addressed in the application;
`(B) the period of time following an application for transfer of licenses or acquisition and operation of lines during which the commission may submit such requests;
`(C) the period of time following an application for transfer of licenses or acquisition and operation of lines during which the commission shall approve or deny the application;
`(D) procedures limiting ex parte communications pertaining to the application for transfer of licenses or the acquisition and operation of lines and requiring all ex parte communications pertaining to the application for transfer of licenses or the acquisition and operation of lines to be placed in a public record; and
`(E) such other procedures as will ensure that the commission's processes for consideration of all applications for transfer of licenses or the acquisition and operation of lines are fair, predictable, timely, open to public scrutiny, and subject to judicial review.
`(2) Each independent regulatory commission shall promulgate rules defining the terms `public interest', `public convenience and necessity' and `public interest, convenience, and necessity' as used in the statutes governing the proceedings described in paragraph (1).
`(3) If, in considering an application for transfer of license or acquisition and operation of lines, an independent regulatory commission does not comply with the rules such commission has promulgated under paragraph (2), the application shall be deemed approved, without conditions, by such commission.
`(4) If an independent regulatory commission has not promulgated rules as required by paragraph (2), or has not followed such rules, any person that has applied for transfer of licenses or acquisition and operation of lines affected by such failure may bring an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a declaration that the application is deemed approved, without conditions, by the commission.
`(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term `independent regulatory commission' means an `agency' within the meaning of section 552b of this title, but unless otherwise expressly provided by amendment to this subsection includes only the Federal Communications Commission.'.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall be effective upon enactment, except that the actions authorized by paragraph (4) of section 558(d) of title 5, United States Code, as added by such amendment, may not be brought with respect to any failure by an independent regulatory commission to prescribe rules as required by such section unless such failure continues after one year after the date of enactment of this Act.