AT&T Inc v. FCC

Filing 58

PRECEDENTIAL OPINION Coram: FUENTES, CHAGARES, Authoring Judge and *TASHIMA, Circuit Judges. Total Pages: 16. * Judge Tashima Senior Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting by designation. (TMK)

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A T & T Inc v. FCC D o c . 58 PRECEDENTIAL U N IT E D STATES COURT OF APPEALS F O R THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ N o . 08-4024 _____________ A T & T INC, Petitioner v. F E D E R A L COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent CO M PTEL, Intervenor per Clerk Order of 10/10/08 O n Petition for Review of an Order of the F e d e ra l Communications Commission O rd e r 08-207 A rg u e d March 13, 2009 B e f o re : FUENTES, CHAGARES, and TASHIMA * , Circuit Judg es. (F ile d : September 22, 2009) Honorable A. Wallace Tashima, Senior Judge for the U n ite d States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting by d e s ig n a tio n . * C o lin S. Stretch (argued) K e lly P. Dunbar K e llo g g , Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel 1 6 1 5 M St., N.W., Ste. 400 W a sh in g to n , DC 20036 C o u n s e l for Petitioner M ic h a el A. Krasnow (argued) F e d e ra l Communications Commission 4 4 5 12th St., N.W. W a sh in g to n , DC 20554 C a th e rin e G. O'Sullivan R o b ert J. Wiggers U n ite d States Department of Justice A n titru s t Division, Appellate Section R m . 3224 9 5 0 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. W a sh in g to n , DC 20530 C o u n s e l for Respondent M ary C. Albert C om pTel 9 0 0 17th St., N.W., Ste. 400 W a sh in g to n , DC 20006 C o u n s e l for Intervenor _____________ O P IN I O N OF THE COURT _____________ C H A G A R E S , Circuit Judge. T h e Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. §§ 5 5 1 -5 9 , requires a federal agency to disclose certain documents w ith in its possession. But FOIA exempts from mandatory d is c lo s u re "records or information compiled for law enforcement p u r p o s e s . . . to the extent that the production of such law 2 e n f o rc e m e n t records or information . . . could reasonably be e x p e cte d to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal p riv a c y," § 552 (b)(7)(C) ("Exemption 7(C)"), and defines " p e rs o n " to "include an individual, partnership, corporation, a s s o c ia tion , or public or private organization other than an agency," § 551(2). Human beings have such "personal privacy." This case re q u ire s us to determine whether corporations do, as well. A T & T , Inc. ("AT&T") argued that the Federal C o m m u n ic a tio n s Commission ("FCC") could not lawfully release d o c u m e n ts obtained during the course of an investigation into an a lleg e d overcharging on the ground that disclosure would likely in v a d e the company's "personal privacy." The FCC rejected A T & T 's argument and held that a corporation, as a matter of law, h a s no "personal privacy" in the first place. AT&T filed a petition f o r review. We will grant the petition and remand to the FCC for f u r th e r proceedings. I. A T & T participated in a federal program administered by the F C C , called "E-Rate," that was designed to increase schools' a c ce ss to advanced telecommunications technology. As part of the p ro g ram , AT&T provided equipment and services to elementary a n d secondary schools, and then billed the Government for the cost o f the equipment and services. In August 2004, AT&T discovered th at it might have overcharged the Government for certain work d o n e for the New London, Connecticut school district. AT&T v o lu n tarily reported the matter to the FCC, and the FCC's E n f o rc e m e n t Bureau ("Bureau") conducted an investigation. The tw o sides ultimately resolved the matter via a consent decree. During the course of the investigation, the Bureau ordered A T & T to produce, and the company did indeed produce, a range of d o c u m e n t s related to its work with the New London schools. T h o s e documents included invoices, internal e-mails providing p ric in g and billing information for the work done in New London, re sp o n s e s to Bureau interrogatories, names of employees involved in the allegedly improper billing, and AT&T's own assessment of w h e t h e r and to what extent the employees involved in the 3 o v e rc h a rg in g violated its internal code of conduct. O n April 4, 2005, CompTel, a trade association representing so m e of AT&T's competitors, submitted a FOIA request for "[a]ll p le a d in g s and correspondence contained in" the Bureau's AT&T E -R a te investigation file. Appendix ("App.") 27. AT&T su b m itte d a letter to the Bureau opposing CompTel's request, a rg u in g that the FCC collected the documents that AT&T produced f o r law enforcement purposes and therefore that the FCC r e g u la ti o n s implementing FOIA's exemptions prohibited d is c lo s u re . CompTel submitted a reply letter. On August 5, 2005, the Bureau issued a letter-ruling rejectin g AT&T's argument that Exemption 7(C) and the FCC's re g u la tio n s implementing that exemption prohibit disclosure. That ex e m p t io n , the Bureau held, does not apply to corporations because c o rp o ra tio n s lack "personal privacy." AT&T filed an application re q u e stin g the FCC to review the Bureau's ruling. On September 1 2 , 2008, the FCC issued an order denying the application and c o m p e llin g disclosure, again on the ground that Exemption 7(C) d o e s not apply to corporations. B e f o re addressing the merits, the FCC held that AT&T f a ile d to comply with the FCC's regulations in filing its application f o r review of the Bureau's order. Generally, only a FOIA requester m a y file an application for the FCC to review the Bureau's re so lu tio n of that request. But, there is an exception. According to 47 C.F.R. § 0.461(i)(1), when a FOIA request for inspection of re c o rd s submitted in confidence pursuant to §§ 0.457(d) or 0.459 is granted (even if only in part), the submitter of the information ­ in addition to the requester ­ may file an application for review. T h e FCC determined, however, that AT&T did not submit the m a te ria l it provided to the FCC in confidence pursuant to either of th o s e regulations, because AT&T failed to include with that m a ter ial a request that the FCC treat that material as confidential. N e v e rth e le s s , the FCC stated that it would, "on [its] own motion," c o n sid e r the merits of AT&T's application for review. App. 10. T h e FCC then held that a corporation lacks "personal p riv a c y" within the meaning of Exemption 7(C). It determined that 4 F C C precedent supports this view, App. 10 (citing Chadmoore C o m m c 'n , Inc., 13 FCC Rcd. 23943, 23946-47 ¶ 7 (1998)), as does ju d ic ia l precedent, App. 11-12 (citing U.S. Dep't of Justice v. R e p o rte rs Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 756 (1 9 8 9 ); Wash. Post Co. v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 863 F.2d 96, 1000 1 (D.C. Cir. 1988); Cohen v. EPA, 575 F. Supp. 425, 429-30 (D .D .C . 1983)). The FCC also concluded that this interpretation a c co rd s with the Exemption's purpose to protect key players in an in v e s tig a t io n ­ targets, witnesses, and law enforcement officers ­ f ro m the "literal embarrassment and danger" that an individual m ig h t suffer, rather than from the "more abstract impact" that a c o r p o ra tio n might suffer. App. 12. The FCC stated that a c o rp o ra tio n 's privacy interests in other contexts ­ such as Fourth A m e n d m e n t search-and-seizure law and the discovery regime c re a te d by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ­ have no bearing o n whether a corporation has a privacy interest in the context of E x e m p t io n 7(C). App. 13. A T & T filed a petition for review of the FCC's order, a rg u in g that the FCC incorrectly interpreted Exemption 7(C) to p re v e n t a corporation from claiming a "personal privacy" interest. A T & T further argues that, should we interpret the statute to allow a corporation to claim a "personal privacy" interest, disclosure of A T & T 's documents is, as a matter of law, reasonably likely to c o n stitu te an "unwarranted invasion" of that interest. The FCC and C o m p T e l (who entered this case as an intervenor) oppose on the m e rits and also raise certain threshold issues. CompTel argues that th is Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over AT&T's petition f o r review and therefore must dismiss. The FCC argues that we sh o u ld deny the petition for review because AT&T failed to c h a llen g e the FCC's determination that AT&T did not comply with c e rta in procedural requirements during the administrative p r o c e e d i n g s .1 1 Disclosure is currently stayed pending the outcome of this a p p e a l. 5 II. T h e FCC had jurisdiction to issue its order denying AT&T's a p p lic a tio n for review. See 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i) (providing that the F C C "may perform any and all acts, make such rules and re g u l a ti o n s , and issue such orders, not inconsistent with [the C o m m u n ic a tio n s Act of 1934 ("Communications Act"), 47 U.S.C. § § 151-615b], as may be necessary in the execution of its f u n c tio n s" ), 155(c)(5) (authorizing the FCC to adjudicate ap p lica tio n s for review of order issued by delegated panel). C o m p T e l argues that we lack appellate jurisdiction. We disagree. C o m p T el asserts that because the Administrative Procedure A c t ("APA") confers AT&T's cause of action, and because 28 U .S .C . § 1331 provides jurisdiction to review an APA claim, the d is tric t courts have jurisdiction to hear AT&T's petition for review. C o m p T e l acknowledges that 28 U.S.C. § 2342(1) gives the courts o f appeals exclusive jurisdiction over orders "under" the C o m m u n ic a tio n s Act within the meaning of 47 U.S.C. § 402(a), b u t argues that the FCC's order in this matter is not such an order. C o m p T el made this argument for the first time to this Court in opposing AT&T's petition for review (which is the first time it c o u ld have made this argument). Therefore, there is no decision on th i s issue to review, and we will address the issue in the first in s ta n c e. S e c tio n 2342 provides that "[t]he court[s] of appeals . . . h a [ v e ] exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole o r in part), or to determine the validity of­(1) all final orders of the [ F C C ] made reviewable by section 402(a) of title 47." 28 U.S.C. § 2342(1). A "final order[] of the [FCC] made reviewable by s e c tio n 402(a) of title 47," § 2342(1), is, with certain exceptions n o t relevant here, "an[] order of the [FCC] under th[e C o m m u n ic a tio n s ] Act . . . ." 47 U.S.C. § 402(a). Thus, we have ju risd ictio n to review the FCC's order adjudicating AT&T's a p p lic a tio n for review if that order is an order "under" the C o m m u n ica tio n s Act. C o u rts have consistently held that an order adjudicating an 6 a lle g e d violation of FCC regulations is an order "under" the C o m m u n ic a tio n s Act within the meaning of § 402(a). See, e.g., R o c k y Mountain Radar, Inc. v. FCC, 158 F.3d 1118, 1119, 11212 3 (10th Cir. 1998) (holding that an order determining that a b u s in e ss violated FCC regulations governing the marketing of ra d a r-ja m m in g devices is an order "under" the Communications A c t within the meaning of § 402(a)); Maier v. FCC, 735 F.2d 220, 2 2 4 (7th Cir. 1984) (holding that order determining that a b ro a d c as tin g company did not violate FCC regulations governing p e rs o n a l attacks on news subjects is an order "under" the C o m m u n ic a tio n s Act within the meaning of § 402(a)). The FCC's order that is the subject of AT&T's petition for r e v ie w adjudicated AT&T's claim that disclosure of the in f o rm a tio n collected by the FCC concerning the E-Rate program in New London would violate FCC regulations implementing E x e m p tio n 7(C).2 Therefore, the order constituted an order "u n d er" the Communications Act within the meaning of § 402(a). A s a result, § 2342(1) provides that the courts of appeals have ex clu s iv e jurisdiction to review that order.3 2 FOIA itself does not prohibit disclosure of information f a llin g within its exemptions. When information falls within an e x e m p tio n , no party can compel disclosure, but the FCC can still m a k e a disclosure on its own accord unless some independent s o u rc e of law prohibits the agency from doing so. See Chrysler C o rp . v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281, 293 (1979) (explaining that, s ta n d in g alone, FOIA's exemptions "do[] not give [courts] the a u th o rity to bar disclosure"). Thus, the disclosure of information f a llin g within an exemption does not violate FOIA itself, but rather a n independent source of law. Here, FCC regulations provide this in d e p e n d en t source. See 47 C.F.R. § 0.457(g)(3) (prohibiting d isclo su re of information covered by Exemption 7(C)). CompTel cites two cases, Chrysler, 441 U.S. 281, and GTE S ylv a n ia , Inc. v. Consumer Product Safety Comm'n, 598 F.2d 790 (3 d Cir. 1979), which it claims stand for the proposition that the d is tric t courts, not the courts of appeals, have jurisdiction to review re v e rs e -F O IA claims. CompTel is mistaken. True, in each of th o s e cases, the district courts, rather than the courts of appeals, 7 3 I I I. N e x t , the FCC argues that we must affirm the order because A T & T has failed to challenge the FCC's determination that AT&T f a iled to comply with relevant procedural requirements in filing its a p p lic a tio n for review of the Bureau's order. We disagree. T h e FCC made this argument for the first time in opposing A T & T 's petition for review (which is the first time it could have m a d e this argument). Therefore, there is no decision on this issue to review, and we will address the issue in the first instance. When a decision rests on multiple, independent grounds, a reviewing c o u rt should affirm it if one of those grounds is correct. See Levy v . Sterling Holding Co., 544 F.3d 493, 508-09 (3d Cir. 2008). An a p p e lla n t waives an argument in support of reversal if he does not ra is e that argument in his opening brief. FDIC v. Deglau, 207 F.3d 1 5 3 , 169 (3d Cir. 2000). A T & T 's procedural default was not an independent ground su p p o rtin g the FCC's decision. The FCC, in its order, specifically sta ted that although it recognized AT&T's default, it would c o n s id e r AT&T's claims on the merits "on [its] own motion." A p p . 10. This belies the FCC's claim that procedural default was a n alternative holding. If it truly was an alternative holding, the F C C would not have needed to make its "own motion" to excuse th e default in order to reach the merits. It could have discussed p ro c e d u ra l default and then, separately and without any justifying s e g u e , discussed the merits. Had the FCC done this, the procedural d e f au lt holding would stand as an independent, sufficient ground f o r denial. That the FCC did not do this tells us that it did not (e v e n in the alternative) base its decision on procedural default.4 had jurisdiction to hear a reverse-FOIA claim. But neither of those o p in i o n s indicate that the laws allegedly barring disclosure in those c a se s contain any provision triggering the operation of a statute that w o u ld have vested jurisdiction exclusively in another court. If the FCC lacked the authority to consider the merits on its own motion, then perhaps its order actually did consist of two a ltern a ti v e holdings. If the FCC lacked such authority, then its 8 4 IV . A T & T argues that the FCC incorrectly interpreted E x e m p t io n 7(C) when it held that a corporation lacks the "personal p riv a c y" protected by that exemption. We agree with AT&T. T h e FCC's interpretation of Exemption 7(C) is not entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Res. Def. C o u n c il, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), because FOIA applies g o v e rn m e n t-w id e , and no one agency is charged with enforcing it. A C L U v. Dep't of Def., 543 F.3d 59, 66 (2d Cir. 2008) (declining to accord deference to Department of Defense interpretation of F O IA ). Thus, we exercise plenary review of the FCC's in ter p re tatio n of FOIA, and will set aside the FCC's decision if it is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in ac co rd a n ce with law." See 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). A. In 1966, dissatisfied with then-existing statutory m e c h a n is m s compelling disclosure of Government records, C o n g re ss enacted FOIA to improve public access to information c o n tro lle d by federal agencies. See OSHA Data/CIH, Inc. v. U.S. D e p 't of Labor, 220 F.3d 153, 160 (3d Cir. 2000) (describing C o n g re ss 's intent). FOIA embodies a philosophy of full d is c l o s u re : an agency may deny a reasonable request for in f o rm a tio n only if the information falls into a statutorily d e lin e a te d exemption. Id. This case concerns the so-called law enforcement justification for issuing a merits holding ­ its "own motion" to e x c u se procedural default ­ would have been erroneous, and all th a t would have remained would be one procedural default holding a n d one merits holding, with nothing connecting the two. But C o m p T e l does not appear to argue that the FCC lacked such a u th o rity, and for good reason: the FCC had it. See 47 C.F.R. § 1 .3 (allowing the FCC to waive any regulation "for good cause sh o w n "). 9 ex em p tio n , Exemption 7(C), which shields from mandatory d is c lo s u re "records or information compiled for law enforcement p u rp o s e s, but only to the extent that the production of such law e n f o rc e m e n t records or information . . . could reasonably be e x p e cte d to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal p riv a c y." 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(C). FOIA's Exemption 6 also uses th e phrase "personal privacy," shielding from compulsory d is c lo s u re "personnel and medical files and similar files the d is c lo s u re of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted in v a sio n of personal privacy." § 552(b)(6). FOIA does not define " p e rso n a l," but it does define "person" to "include[] an individual, p a rtn e r s h ip , corporation, association, or public or private o rg a n izatio n other than an agency." § 551(2). N e ith e r the Supreme Court nor this Court has ever squarely re je c te d a proffered personal privacy interest of a corporation. The m o s t that can be said of the Supreme Court's cases and of our cases is that they suggest that Exemptions 7(C) and 6 frequently and p rim a rily protect ­ and that Congress may have intended them to p ro te c t ­ the privacy of individuals. See, e.g., Reporters Comm., 4 8 9 U.S. at 764 n.16; U.S. Dep't of State v. Wash. Post Co., 456 U .S . 595, 599 (1982); Davin v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 60 F.3d 1043, 1 0 5 8 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing Landano v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 956 F .2 d 422, 426 (3d Cir. 1992)); Manna v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 51 F .3 d 1158, 1166 (3d Cir. 1995); Cuccaro v. Sec'y of Labor, 770 F .2 d 355, 359 (3d Cir. 1985) (citing Lame v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 6 5 4 F.2d 917, 923 (3d Cir. 1981)). B. A s the Supreme Court has held, a court must "begin by lo o k in g at the language of the [statute] . . . . When [the court] f in d [ s] the terms of a statute unambiguous, judicial inquiry is c o m p lete , except `in rare and exceptional circumstances.'" Rubin v . United States, 449 U.S. 424, 429-30 (1981) (quoting TVA v. H ill, 437 U.S. 153, 187 n.33 (1978) (quotation marks and citation o m i tt e d ) ) . AT&T argues that the plain text of Exemption 7(C) in d ic a te s that it applies to corporations. After all, "personal" is the 10 a d je c tiv a l form of "person," and FOIA defines "person" to include a corporation. We agree. It would be very odd indeed for an a d je c tiv a l form of a defined term not to refer back to that defined te rm . See Del. River Stevedores v. DiFidelto, 440 F.3d 615, 623 ( 3 d Cir. 2006) (Fisher, J., concurring) (stating that it is a " g ra m m a tic a l imperative[]" that "a statute which defines a noun h as thereby defined the adjectival form of that noun"). Further, F O IA 's exemptions indicate that Congress knew how to refer s o le ly to human beings (to the exclusion of corporations and other le g a l entities) when it wanted to. Exemption 7(F), for example, p ro te c ts information gathered pursuant to a law enforcement in v e s tig a tio n that, if released, "could reasonably be expected to e n d a n g e r the life or physical safety of any individual." 5 U.S.C. § 5 5 2 (b )( 7 )( F ) (emphasis added). Yet, Congress, in Exemption 7(C), d id not refer to "the privacy of any individual" or some variant th e re o f ; it used the phrase "personal privacy." T h e FCC and CompTel's text-based arguments to the c o n tra ry are unconvincing. They cite Supreme Court case law for th e proposition that, whenever possible, statutory words should be in ter p re ted "in their ordinary, everyday senses." Malat v. Riddell, 3 8 3 U.S. 569, 571 (1966). The ordinary meaning of "person" is h u m a n being, so, the argument concludes, "personal" must in c o rp o ra te this ordinary meaning. This argument is unpersuasive. It fails to take into account that "person" ­ the root from which the s ta t u t o r y word at issue is derived ­ is a defined term. See B is k u p s k i v. Att'y Gen., 503 F.3d 274, 280 (3d Cir. 2007) ("If, as h e re , `a statute includes an explicit definition, we must follow that d ef in itio n , even if it varies from that term's ordinary meaning.'" (q u o tin g Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 942 (2000))). T h e FCC and CompTel next argue that FOIA's other uses o f the phrase "personal privacy" indicate that the phrase does not e n c o m p a s s corporations. They point to Exemption 6, which shields fro m mandatory disclosure "personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted in v a sio n of personal privacy," 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6), and observe th a t courts have held that this exemption applies only to individuals a n d not to corporations. Thus, the FCC and CompTel argue, the p h r a s e "personal privacy" in Exemption 6 applies only to 11 in d iv id u a ls , and therefore "personal privacy" in Exemption 7(C) a p p lie s only to individuals, as well. This argument is flawed. S u p p o s e (though we express no opinion on the issue) that E x em p tio n 6 applies only to individuals (and not to corporations). T h is does not mean that each and every component phrase in that ex em p tio n , taken on its own, limits Exemption 6 to individuals. It m e a n s only that some language in that exemption does so. The p h ra se "personnel and medical files" serves this function. It limits E x e m p t io n 6 to individuals because only individuals (and not c o rp o ra tio n s ) may be the subjects of such files. Therefore, nothing n e c e s s a rily can be gleaned about the scope of "personal privacy," b e c a u s e Exemption 6 would apply only to individuals even if " p e r s o n a l privacy," taken on its own, encompasses corporations. T h u s , we hold that FOIA's text unambiguously indicates th a t a corporation may have a "personal privacy" interest within the m e a n in g of Exemption 7(C). This, for us, ends the matter. Rubin, 4 4 9 U.S. at 429-30. We need not consider the parties' arguments c o n c e r n in g statutory purpose,5 relevant (but non-binding) case Nevertheless, we note that interpreting "personal privacy" ac co rd in g to its plain textual meaning serves Exemption 7(C)'s p u rp o s e of providing broad protection to entities involved in law e n f o rc e m e n t investigations in order to encourage cooperation with f e d e ra l regulators. Corporations, like human beings, are routinely in v o lv e d in law enforcement investigations. Corporations, like h u m a n beings, face public embarrassment, harassment, and stigma b e c a u se of that involvement. Reading "personal privacy" to e x c lu d e corporations would disserve Exemption 7(C)'s purpose of e n c o u ra g in g corporations ­ like human beings ­ to cooperate and b e forthcoming in such investigations. Finally on this topic, "[t]he b est evidence of th[e] purpose [of a statutory text] is the statutory te x t adopted by both Houses of Congress and submitted to the P r e sid e n t." W. Va. Univ. Hosps., Inc. v. Casey, 499 U.S. 83, 98 (1 9 9 1 ), superseded by statute on other grounds, Civil Rights Act of 1 9 9 1 , Pub. L. No. 102-166, 105 Stat. 1071 (1991). That text, we h a v e explained, demonstrates that a corporation may have "p erso n al privacy" within the meaning of Exemption 7(C). 12 5 la w ,6 and legislative history.7 6 The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit c a s e s discussed by the parties ­ Multi Ag Media LLC v. D ep artm en t of Agriculture, 515 F.3d 1224 (D.C. Cir. 2008), J u d ic ia l Watch, Inc. v. FDA, 449 F.3d 141 (D.C. Cir. 2006), and W a sh in g to n Post, 863 F.2d 96 ­ do not impugn our textual a n a lys is . The court in Multi Ag Media suggested that "personal p riv a c y" within the meaning of Exemption 6 extends to individuals o n l y. But it appears to have inferred this conclusion from its o b s e rv a tio n that Congress's main purpose in enacting Exemption 6 was to protect individuals (and not necessarily corporations). See 5 1 5 F.3d at 1228. We do not believe that inferring the statute's m e a n in g merely from evidence of the enacting Congress's chief p u rp o s e is analytically appropriate: "`the fact that a statute can be a p p lie d in situations not expressly anticipated by Congress does not d e m o n s tra te ambiguity. It demonstrates breadth.'" PGA Tour, Inc. v . Martin, 532 U.S. 661, 689 (2001) (quoting Pa. Dep't of Corr. v. Y e sk e y, 524 U.S. 206, 212 (1988) (quotation marks omitted)). The Ju d icia l Watch court, in applying Exemption 6, considered only in d iv id u a ls ' privacy interests in balancing "personal privacy" a g a in s t the need for public disclosure. Yet the court's description o f the parties' arguments indicates that the FDA (the federal a g e n c y holding the documents in that case), in its attempt to resist d is c lo s u re , only cited individual privacy interests in the first place. S e e 449 F.3d at 152-53. Thus, the court never had the occasion to p a s s on whether "personal privacy" encompasses corporate p riv a c y. Finally, the court in Washington Post noted that E x e m p t i o n 7(C) concerns only "intimate" details, including " m a r ita l status, legitimacy of children, identity of fathers of c h ild re n , medical condition, welfare payments, alcoholic c o n su m p tio n , family fights, and reputation." 863 F.2d at 100. But a corporation, too, has a strong interest in protecting its reputation. In any event, to the extent that these cases can be read to c o n f lic t with our textual analysis, we decline to follow them. We decline the FCC and CompTel's invitation to examine th e legislative history of Exemption 7(C) because we find the text o f FOIA to be unambiguous. See In re Mehta, 310 F.3d 308, 311 13 7 V. A T & T next argues that, as a matter of law, the invasion of p e rs o n a l privacy caused by the release of the documents the c o m p a n y submitted to the FCC could reasonably be expected to be " u n w a rra n t e d " within the meaning of Exemption 7(C). We d is a g re e . A T & T made this argument to the FCC during the a d m i n is tra tiv e proceedings, but because the FCC held that " p e rs o n a l privacy" does not apply to corporations, the FCC did not h av e occasion to discuss whether a potential invasion of AT&T's " p e rs o n a l privacy" would be "unwarranted." Therefore, there is no d e c is io n on this issue to review. " [ U ]n d e r settled principles of administrative law, when a c o u rt reviewing agency action determines that an agency made an e rro r of law, the court's inquiry is at an end: the case must be r e m a n d e d to the agency for further action consistent with the c o rre c te d legal standards." N.C. Fisheries Ass'n, Inc. v. Gutierrez, 5 5 0 F.3d 16, 20 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting PPG Indus. v. United S tate s, 52 F.3d 363, 365 (D.C. Cir. 1995)). AT&T attempts to a v o id this bedrock principle by noting that "when [a FOIA] request s e e k s no `official information' about a Government agency, but m e re ly records that the Government happens to be storing," g ra n tin g that request would, as a matter of law, constitute a "clearly u n w a rra n te d " invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of E x e m p t io n 7(C), Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 780, so remand w o u ld be unnecessary. AT&T argues that none of the AT&T (3d Cir. 2002) ("We look to the text of a statute to determine c o n g re ss io n a l intent, and look to legislative history only if the text is ambiguous."); see generally Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc., 561 F.3d 2 3 3 , 244 (3d Cir. 2009) ("We have recognized that legislative h is to ry is not without its shortcomings as a tool of interpretation. ` A s a point of fact, there can be multiple legislative intents because h u n d re d s of men and women must vote in favor of a bill in order f o r it to become a law.'") (quoting Morgan v. Gay, 466 F.3d 276, 2 7 8 (3d Cir. 2006)). 14 re c o rd s that CompTel wants disclosed contains "official in f o rm atio n " about the FCC or otherwise pertain to the FCC's c o n d u c t. Rather, AT&T contends that the request is aimed at g a th e rin g information about AT&T, contained in AT&T d o c u m e n ts , that "the Government happens to be storing," id., by v irtu e of the Bureau's investigation. We cannot agree. CompTel's F O IA request does not fit into that narrow category. C o m p T e l has indeed alleged that it seeks "`official in f o rm a tio n ' about a Government agency." Id. For example, in its o p p o s itio n to AT&T's letter-request to block disclosure, CompTel e x p la in s that it seeks information about "the receipt of universal s e rv ic e support [the E-Rate program] for the New London C o n n e c tic u t Public Schools." App. 37. CompTel notes that the F C C "terminated the investigation upon issuing an Order adopting a Consent Decree." App. 37. E-Rate has (at least) two p a rtic ip a n ts : AT&T, which provides services to the local school d istric ts (and bills the Government), and the FCC, which actually a d m i n is te rs the entire operation. It stands to reason, then, that d o c u m e n ts in the FCC's investigative file may shed light on the F C C 's administration of E-Rate. This is especially true given that C o m p T e l made (as it was entitled to make) a very broad request for " a ll" the documents in the investigative file, not merely for those lim ite d to, say, employee home addresses, which would be less l ik e l y to provide any insight into the functioning of a federal a g e n c y. 8 W e therefore abide by long-established principles of Further, determining that each document AT&T submitted to the FCC contains some protected content would be difficult e n o u g h , but FOIA requires more. We would have to be convinced th a t every "reasonably segregable portion" of each document c o n ta in s protected information. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b) (flush language) ( e m p h a s is added). Holding, on the very limited record before us, th a t Exemption 7(C) protects every reasonably segregable jot and tittle of each document that AT&T submitted would be truly e x tra o rd in a ry, and, in our view, not an appropriate course of action f o r a reviewing court to undertake in the first instance. 15 8 a d m in istra tiv e law and will remand the matter to the FCC with in s tru c tio n s to determine, in accordance with our construction of E x emp tio n 7(C), whether disclosure "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," § 5 5 2 (b)(7 )(c). V I. F o r the above reasons, we will grant AT&T's petition for re v ie w and remand the matter to the FCC for further proceedings c o n sis te n t with this opinion. 16

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