Modifications of Antitrust Consent Decrees: Over a Double Barrel

This Note will attempt to determine the correct standard of review for all modifications of existing consent decrees. Part I. A. examines the current standards for modifications of consent decrees. It concludes that the APP A does not apply to such orders. Part I. B. then examines the differing standards that are currently applied to defendant-initiated modification motions without the government’s consent, government-initiated modification motions without the defendant’s consent, and consented-to modifications. Part II argues that these varying standards have little justification since the same substantive concerns exist in all modification cases. Part III explores the two major concerns – (1) the public interest and (2) the integrity of judicial orders – and urges courts to evaluate modification motions in light of these concerns. Part IV contends that courts making decisions under this “two-prong standard” should give deference to the government’s view of the modification’s propriety. The Note concludes by illustrating how courts should apply this double-barrel analysis to modification requests.