Administrative Law–Procedure–Right of Interention in FCC Rate-Making Proceeding

In response to a petition of the Western Union Telegraph Company, the Federal Communications Commission began an investigation of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s tariff charges on its “telpak” service. The American Communications Association, a trade union representing Western Union workers in the New York City area, petitioned to intervene. The hearing examiner’s decision to deny intervention was affirmed by the Commission. A motion for reconsideration was also denied by the FCC because the union failed to show how its intervention in the proceeding would assist the Commission in determining the issues, as required by the rule reserving to the FCC discretion over petitions for intervention. On appeal, held, reversed. Section 6(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act gives any interested person a right to intervene as long as the “orderly conduct of business” is not impaired. American Communications Ass’n v. United States, 298 F.2d 648 (2d Cir. 1962).,/p>