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Courts gauge the finality of agency action in a pragmatic way. FTC v. Standard Oil Co., 449 U.S. 232, 239, 101 S.Ct. 488, 493, 66 L.Ed.2d 416 (1980); Texas v. United States Dept. of Energy, 764 F.2d 278, 282 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1008, 106 S.Ct. 531, 88 L.Ed.2d 463 (1985). 


In Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967), the Supreme Court reviewed several factors it found to be significant in determining the finality of agency action. First, whether the challenged action is a definitive statement of the agency's position; second, whether the actions have the status of laws with penalties for noncompliance; third, whether the impact on the plaintiff is direct and immediate; and fourth, whether immediate compliance was expected. Id. at 150-152, 87 S.Ct. at 1516-1517. When the Supreme Court applied these four factors to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint based on its alleged 'reason to believe' that a violation had occurred, it held the action unreviewable because it was not final agency action. FTC v. Standard Oil Co., 449 U.S. 232, 101 S.Ct. 488, 66 L.Ed.2d 416 (1980). The ...

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