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FTC Signals Increased Use of Financial Penalties

August 1, 2012

As appeared in Global Competition Review

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently pulled back from a 2003 policy that had limited the use of financial penalties in antitrust cases only to extraordinary circumstances. Its 2003 policy set out the conditions under which the FTC would seek to recoup so-called ‘ill-gotten gains’ from companies that had profited by violating antitrust laws.

According to Kaye Scholer Antitrust Partner and former FTC official Claudia Higgins, “Businesses should be cautious when operating in potential antitrust grey areas.”

“The FTC may well be signaling that it is prepared to seek disgorgement,” Higgins explained. “That said, I would still expect that this remedy will be sought only where relatively egregious violations are alleged.”

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