IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does it matter that the prosecutor is also the judge? The administrative complaint process at the Federal Trade Commission


  • Malcolm B. Coate

    (Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Andrew N. Kleit

    (Department of Economics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA)


Firms seeking to merge face antitrust scrutiny from either the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Unlike the DOJ, the FTC litigates its cases in front of its own administrative law judges (ALJs), and then hears the appeal itself, rather than using federal district courts. This study focuses on the formal decisions made by the FTC after an ALJ has conducted a full trial for a particular case. We find that while the 'merits' of a matter, as implied by the case law, affect the FTC's decision, institutional factors also have an impact. In particular, the firm's chances of prevailing in litigation are influenced by the number of commissioners who both vote to prosecute and then vote as a judge as well as the political affiliations of the commissioners. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm B. Coate & Andrew N. Kleit, 1998. "Does it matter that the prosecutor is also the judge? The administrative complaint process at the Federal Trade Commission," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 1-11.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:19:y:1998:i:1:p:1-11
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1468(199802)19:1<1::AID-MDE840>3.0.CO;2-G

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Garoupa, Nuno, 2009. "Some reflections on the economics of prosecutors: Mandatory vs. selective prosecution," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-28, March.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:19:y:1998:i:1:p:1-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.