An Overworked FTC Puts the Burden on Merging Parties to Identify and Fix Antitrust Problems Themselves
This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Antitrust Practice Group.
- November 19, 2021
- Herbert F. Allen , Polsinelli PC
- Mitchell D. Raup , Polsinelli PC
The agency that reviews many of the country’s health care and pharmaceutical mergers says it has a workload problem.
On one hand, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that merger filings in 2021 have grown to “astounding” levels. In the first nine months of 2021, 2,795 transactions were reported to federal antitrust enforcers under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. At this rate, nearly 4,000 transactions will be reported to enforcers by the end of the year—twice the average annual number in the prior five years. According to the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, this “tidal wave of merger filings” has exceeded the agency’s capacity to investigate deals ahead of the statutory deadlines.
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