Cease and Desist: The History, Effect, and Scope of Clayton Act Orders of the Federal Trade Commission

A cease and desist order is not entered in a vacuum. What an order should say or require depends upon the effect which the order is to have. A substantial portion of the present study is therefore concerned with the array of effects which may result from the order’s entry, and with the relationship between those effects and the order itself. Not all of the detailed discussion of enforcement procedures which follows may seem directly relevant to the content of the FTC’s orders. There are important unresolved issues within the enforcement procedures themselves which warrant examination for their own sake and are therefore considered in detail. But in a broad sense, all aspects of the enforcement procedures bear on the ultimate question of content. If nothing else, the complexity of the enforcement procedures and the difficulty of reconciling the roles of the FTC and the judiciary emphasize the critical role played by the order itself.