PUBLIC LAW 94-210—FEB. 5, 1976 (2) by inserting a new paragraph (8) as follows: "(8)(a) Whenever a schedule is filed with the Commission by a common carrier by railroad stating a new individual or joint rate, fare, or charge, or a new individual or joint classification, regulation, or practice affecting a rate, fare, or charge, the Commission may, upon the complaint of an interested party or upon its own initiative, order a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, fare, charge,-classification, regulation, or practice. The hearing may be conducted without answer or other formal pleading, but reasonable notice shall be provided to interested parties. Such hearing shall be completed and a final decision rendered by the Commission not later than 7 months after such rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice was scheduled to become effective, unless, prior to the expiration of such 7-month period, the Commission reports in writing to the Congress that it is unable to render a decision within such period, together with a full explanation of the reason for the delay. I f such a report is made to the Congress, the final decision shall be made not later than 10 months after the date of the filing of such schedule. If the final decision of the Commission is not made within the applicable time period, the rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice shall go into effect immediately at the expiration of such time period, or shall remain in effect if it has already become effective. Such rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice may be set aside thereafter by the Commission if, upon complaint of an interested party, the Commission finds it to be unlawful. "(b) Pending a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a), the schedule may be suspended, pursuant to subdivision (d), for 7 months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect, or for 10 months if the Commission makes a report to the Congress pursuant to subdivision (a), except under the following conditions: "(i) in the case of a rate increase, a rate may not be suspended on the ground that it exceeds a just and reasonable level if the rate is within a limit specified in subdivision (c), except that such a rate change may be suspended under any provision of section 2, 3, or 4 of this part or, following promulgation of standards and procedures under section 1(5)(d) of this part, if the carrier is found to have market dominance, within the meaning of section l (6)(c)(i) of this part, over the service to which such rate increase applies; or "(ii) in the case of a rate decrease, a rate may not be suspended on the ground that it is below a just and reasonable level if the rate is within a limit specified in subdivision (c), except that such a rate change may be suspended under any provision of section 2, 3, or 4 of this part, or for the purposes of investigating such rate change upon a complaint that such rate change constitutes a competitive practice which is unfair, destructive, predatory or otherwise undermines competition which is necessary in the public interest. "(c) The limitations upon the Commission's power to suspend rate changes set forth in subdivisions (b)(i) and (ii) apply only to rate changes which are not of general applicability to all or substantially all classes of traffic and only if— "(i) the rate increase or decrease is filed within 2 years after the date of the enactment of this subdivision; "(ii) the common carrier by railroad notifies the Commission that it wishes to have the rate considered pursuant to this subdivision;
90 STAT. 37
Hearing and notice.