FTC, Jus­tice is­sue re­vamped guide­lines on merg­ers

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The fed­eral an­titrust agen­cies have is­sued the first ma­jor re­vi­sion in 18 years to the guide­lines gov­ern­ing merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions in­volv­ing com­peti­tors. The new hor­i­zon­tal merger guide­lines were pro­posed in April by the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion and the U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment, (April 26, p. 14). They are in­tended as a re­source to help the in­dus­try to un­der­stand how the an­titrust en­forcers an­a­lyze whether deals are bad for con­sumers. Al­though they are not rules or reg­u­la­tions, judges of­ten re­fer to them when trans­ac­tions are chal­lenged in court. Com­pared to the guide­lines is­sued in 1992, the 33-page re­write places greater em­pha­sis on the types of ev­i­dence that the agen­cies will look at to de­ter­mine a merger’s ac­tual or likely ef­fects on prices, ac­cess, qual­ity and in­no­va­tion. “The re­vised guide­lines bet­ter re­flect the agen­cies’ ac­tual prac­tices,” Jus­tice Depart­ment As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral Chris­tine Var­ney said in a news re­lease. FTC Chair­man Jon Lei­bowitz said in the re­lease that “pri­vate par­ties and judges will be bet­ter equipped to un­der­stand how the agen­cies eval­u­ate deals.”

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