FOIA request reveals little information on government investigation of Zuffa
February 7, 2013
Recently, I made a FOIA request to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) inquiring about its investigation of Zuffa with respect to its purchase of Strikeforce. The documents provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) did not reveal anything of note.
The documents consisted of 5 pages. Two pages were form letters, dated January 25, 2012, from the FTC to law firms in the Washington D.C. area (apparently) representing the parties advising that it had closed its investigation.
The letters indicated that the FTC investigated whether the acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, LLC (“Strikeforce”) by Zuffa, LLC violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
“Upon further review of this matter, it appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission,” read both letters. The form letters went on to say that the closure of the investigation did not mean that a violation had not been committed…or that one had. It also reserved the right to reopen the investigation if it deemed necessary. Legal enough for you?
The other three pages were a document entitled “Document Logging Form” which did not reveal anything about facts on the investigation. It appeared to be a checklist for closing a file.
The FTC cited rules which preclude responsive documents which contain staff analyses, opinions and recommendations. These are exempt from FOIA.
A little late on getting this information but you didn’t miss much. The FOIA process was fairly easy and the FTC responded quickly. Of course, the information that would have been interesting were exempt from FOIA disclosure. So, the official rendering of the Zuffa investigation by the government is that it had looked into its acquisition of Strikeforce but found no reason to conduct further action into investigating the purchase.