WASHINGTON (Aug. 23, 2010) — 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 (FTC) and the U.S. Justice Department. 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.”
The guidelines are available in pdf format at the Justice Department website.
This story appeared in Modern Healthcare magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.