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FTC, DOJ Open Comment Period on M&A Review Process Update Plan

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are seeking public comments on a draft update of guidelines meant to help federal regulators determine if merger and acquisition deals affect U.S. market competition. 

FTC said Wednesday the draft enforcement manual outlines 13 guidelines agencies may use to determine whether a proposed merger deal complies with federal antitrust regulations and assess the risk business combination may pose to commerce.

According to the document, a merger should not significantly increase concentration in highly concentrated markets, eliminate substantial competition between firms, increase the risk of coordination and substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.

“These updated Merger Guidelines respond to modern market realities and will enable the Justice Department to transparently and effectively protect the American people from the damage that anticompetitive mergers cause,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The comment period is open until Sept. 18.

In June, FTC and DOJ proposed changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act filing process to better review proposed M&A transactions for potential competition issues.

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