FTC Seeks Public Comments on the Use of Disgorgement as a Remedy for Competition Violations

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission today approved publication of a Federal Register notice seeking public comments on the use of disgorgement as a remedy for competition violations, including those involving the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Premerger Notification Act, FTC Act, and Clayton Act.

As detailed in the notice, which will be published shortly and is available on the Commission's Web site, the Commission has considerable experience with the use of monetary equitable remedies in consumer protection cases. In contrast, it has considered disgorgement or other forms of monetary equitable relief in fewer competition matters, and has obtained monetary disgorgement in only limited circumstances, including two recent matters, FTC v. Mylan Laboratories, et al. and FTC v. The Hearst Trust, et al.

The Commission is accordingly soliciting comments on the factors it should consider in applying this remedy in competition cases and how disgorgement should be calculated. The Commission is not re-examining its statutory authority to seek disgorgement or other monetary equitable relief in competition cases. Specific questions of interest to the FTC are provided in the Federal Register notice, but other related comments also are welcome.

"I encourage all interested parties to submit a response to this notice; the remedy of disgorgement raises important issues as laid out in the request for comments," said FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris.

Comments in response to the Federal Register notice may be sent by e-mail to: disgorgementcomment@ftc.gov. For written comments, an original and one copy of any comments should be sent to the Document Processing Section, Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments must be received by March 1, 2002.

For more information, contact: John Graubert, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2186; e-mail: jgraubert@ftc.gov.

The Commission vote authorizing publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0

Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the Commission's Web site at www.ftc.gov. The FTC's Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, Electronic Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published "Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws," which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.

(FTC File No. P010101)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
William E. Kovacic
Office of the General Counsel
202-326-3661