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Inter-Departmental Disclosure of Information Submitted Under the Shipping Act of 1984

Date of Issuance:

The Federal Maritime Commission is not prohibited by § 6(j) of the Shipping Act of 1984 (Act) from disclosing to other Executive Branch departments or agencies information concerning carriage agreements filed pursuant to the Act, although the Act does prohibit disclosure of such information to the public.

Section 6(j) of the Act is patterned after § 7A(h) of the Clayton Act, and the legislative history of the latter provision provides some indication that it might prohibit inter-departmental disclosure of premerger information obtained by the Justice Department under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Nonetheless, in the absence of evidence of legislative intent specifically to prohibit non-public disclosure of Shipping Act information, it should not be inferred that Congress intended to override the general presumption that information obtained by one federal government agency may be freely shared among federal government agencies.

Updated July 9, 2014