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FTC and DOJ Issue Final Vertical Merger Guidelines

This Featured Article is contributed by AHLA's Antitrust Practice Group.
  • August 07, 2020
  • Alexis J. Gilman , Crowell & Moring LLP , Washington, DC
  • Alexis V. DeBernardis , Crowell & Moring LLP , Washington, DC
  • Shaina Vinayek , Crowell & Moring LLP , Washington, DC

On June 30, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ and collectively, the Agencies) issued updated Vertical Merger Guidelines. As the name suggests, the Guidelines address transactions not between “horizontal,” head-to-head competitors, but between firms at different levels of the same or different “supply chains,” such as a health insurance plan and a health care provider. The Guidelines do not break significant new ground, but they underscore the Agencies’ continued and enhanced focus on vertical mergers, resulting in such transactions facing more intense and lengthier scrutiny, potentially delaying closing. 

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