The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) has formally petitioned the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to initiate an investigation into the franchise industry. In particular, the petition urges that the agency investigate 9 franchise brands in particular, including 7-Eleven, Subway, UPS Stores, IHG Hotels, Choice Hotels, Experimax/Experimac, Supercuts, Massage Envy and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit regarding an array of issues. Specifically, the petition asks the FTC to demand that the franchisors provide specific documents in response to some 115 questions regarding their operations as relates the franchisor-franchisee relationship. The questions are categorized within a number of broader subject matters, which include, among others: supply chains; gross profit margins & operating costs; franchisee associations; advertising funds; financial performance representations; Item 20 disclosures and changes to the Operations Manual; among others. The petition for investigation comes on the heels of a comprehensive report entitled Strategies to Improve the Franchise Model: Preventing Unfair and Deceptive Franchise Practices issued on the franchising industry earlier this year by U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). That report detailed a number of problems within the franchise industry and was highly critical of some of these very same franchise brands. The petition, submitted by attorney Eric Karp, a partner in the Boston firm of Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP, was endorsed by DDIFO as well as 10 other independent franchisee associations.