Public Enforcement

There are two federal authorities who have different power to prosecute antitrust behavior

  • Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ)

    Can press both civil and criminal charges

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Cannot press criminal charges; however, they can implement the Clayton Act and assess the legality of mergers

Formal procedures ensure the two offices coordinate effectively

Department of Justice

DOJ Success

DOJ Antitrust Division

  • The DOJ aims to deter potential offenders, rather than punish defenders
    • Punishments are often harsh
    • Criminal sanctions have become less common relative to civil sanctions
  • Results are mixed
    • The number of DOJ antitrust cases remains relatively constant
    • But a high DOJ success rate may deter future monopoly behavior

Criminal Case Stats