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57 Antitrust L.J. 141 (1988)
The FTC's Increased Reliance on Section 13(b) in Court Litigation

handle is hein.journals/antil57 and id is 219 raw text is: THE FTC'S INCREASED RELIANCE ON
I would like to review what we at the FTC believe are very exciting
developments in the Federal Trade Commission's use of its authority
under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act.' These developments are permitting
the Commission to implement its law enforcement missions more effi-
ciently and effectively.
If you look at almost any treatise on trade regulation that has not been
updated within the past few years-and at some treatises that have been-
you are likely to find a statement to the effect that The Federal Trade
Commission's enforcement authority is implemented primarily through
its own internal administrative processes. Although this statement was
true for the Commission's first 65 years of existence, it no longer ac-
curately describes the way the agency operates. FTC attorneys are today
involved in more enforcement litigation in federal district court than
before administrative law judges. The reason for this is Section 13(b) of
the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Section 13(b) was enacted as part of the 1973 amendments to the
Alaska Pipeline Bill. At that time it was hailed principally because of its
first proviso. The first proviso granted the Commission express authority
to seek from a federal district court a preliminary injunction to preserve
the status quo pending the completion of a traditional administrative
proceeding in which the legality of the challenged conduct would be
conclusively determined. The Commission had previously asserted the
authority to seek such provisional relief under the All Writs Act, to enjoin
proposed corporate acquisitions thought to violate the Clayton Act. But
the procedure was extremely cumbersome. It required that relief be
sought from a court of appeals, and that (according to one court) the
Commission demonstrate that total divestiture would be virtually im-
* General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, and Council Member, Section of Anti-
trust Law.
1 15 U.S.C. § 53(b).

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