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53 Antitrust L.J. 1045 (1984-1985)
Enforcement, Criminal Sanctions and Private Actions

handle is hein.journals/antil53 and id is 1145 raw text is: ENFORCEMENT, CRIMINAL SANCTIONS AND
Member of the New York Bar
It is my task to help you weigh the risks of exploiting commercial
opportunities and assess the weight of the other side of the scale-
namely, the impact of losing.. Necessarily, this must be part of the op-
portunity/risk equation. Put another way, risk-taking is more appropriate
when, for example, there is no criminal exposure.
Let us turn first to enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act by the
Federal Trade Commission.
In the 1950s and 1960s, there was an avalanche of complaints by the
Federal Trade Commission against sellers alleging violations of Sections
2(a), (c), (d) and (e). The toy industry, the automotive parts industry and
the garment industry were among those that were particular lightning
rods for the FTC's wrath.'
The result was overwhelming condemnation by academics, economists
and the organized bar, and almost uniform applause by the courts.
Then, in the late 1960s-not the 1980s, mind you-there was a dra-
matic turnaround. Miles Kirkpatrick, a dedicated and talented antitrust
lawyer who had been head of the ABA Antitrust Section, became Chair-
man of the Commission. Economists began to be heard at the Commis-
sion. The new thinking was that Robinson-Patman was actually
anticompetitive. Enforcement came to a grinding halt. And that has been
the story ever since.2 Here is one issue on which former Chairman Pert-
See Rowe, The Federal Trade Commission's Administration of the Antiprice Discrimination Law-
A Paradox of Antitrust Policy, 64 COLUM. L. REV. 415, 430 (1964).
POLICY AND LAW, Volume I at 41 (1980) (illuminating the paucity of FTC proceedings
since 1969).


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