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Breaking News from CNBC's Scott Wapner: Herbalife "Surprised" by FTC Investigation - Source

WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 12th

WHERE: CNBC's "Fast Money"

Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Scott Wapner.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

SCOTT WAPNER: AS WE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS NEWS OF THE FTC INVESTIGATION INTO HERBALIFE'S BUSINESS, SOME COLOR HERE. A SOURCE CLOSE TO HERBALIFE TELLING ME THAT THE COMPANY WAS SURPRISED BY THE FTC INVESTIGATION. I THINK I CAN ALMOST GO AS FAR AS TO SAY THEY WERE BLINDSIDED AND SURPRISED AS MANY OF US WERE TO GET THIS NEWS TODAY. BUT THE COMPANY, AS IT SAID IN ITS STATEMENT, IT WELCOMING THE INVESTIGATION. IT FEELS, ACCORDING TO A SOURCE, THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS NOW THE BEST WAY TO BATTLE BILL ACKMAN'S ACCUSATIONS. I CAN ALSO TELL YOU FROM A CONVERSATION I HAD WITH A SOURCE CLOSE TO THE FTC THAT SUCH AN INVESTIGATION COULD TAKE UP TO A YEAR. PERHAPS EVEN LONGER THAN THAT. THAT IT COULD ALSO INVOLVE DEPOSITIONS OF THE CEO OF HERBALIFE, MICHAEL JOHNSON, AS WELL AS OTHER SENIOR EXECUTIVES. THAT A PENALTY IN THIS CASE COULD BE ANYTHING FROM WHAT'S DESCRIBED TO ME AS A SLAP ON THE WRIST TO A CEASE AND DESIST ORDER. AND ALSO THAT THE INVESTIGATION, AND THIS IS KEY, IS NOT AN INDICTMENT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM THAT HERBALIFE HAS DONE ANYTHING WRONG TO THIS POINT. MERELY AN INVESTIGATION ONE THAT BEGINS NOW AND COULD LAST FOR SOME TIME.

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