The Justice Department’s challenge to AT&T’s proposed $108 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. is likely the biggest antitrust news story of the year. Much of the attention from the mainstream media has been focused on possible influence by President Trump on the Justice Department’s decision to seek divestitures of assets, such as CNN, to…

Complex transactions are subject to an increased level of antitrust scrutiny by competition authorities. This often results in extended waiting periods between signing and closing – it can nowadays be one year or even longer before the parties are able to implement the deal. For the acquiring company it is often important to start planning…

The European Commission increasingly issues large document requests in complex merger cases. The number of requested documents has increased significantly in recent years, from a few hundred to several hundred thousand, in particular in Phase I or Phase II cases that raise substantial issues. If the document request is issued during the formal proceedings, the documents…

Last July, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed two actions, challenging proposed mergers that would have reduced the country’s “big five” health insurers to three. Bench trials have been held in these matters. On Monday, Judge John Bates of the federal district court in Washington, D.C. preliminary enjoined  Aetna Inc.’s $37 billion attempt to…

Long-stalled efforts proposed by some federal lawmakers to bring “reform” to the FTC will likely be reintroduced in the 115th Congress. With a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, and President Donald J. Trump in the White House, measures that could not get sufficient support in in the current Congress and…

When I concluded by summer of 2015 that our next President would be Donald Trump, my closest friends and associates were skeptical. Having grown up in the New York media market and reading the “Art of the Deal” after college, I studied Donald Trump because he was interesting. You are free to see it differently,…

The George Washington University Law School and Concurrences Review are hosting “120 Merger Regimes: Multinational Deals in a World of Non-Convergence: US, EU, Brazil, China . . .” on September 19 at the law school in Washington, D.C. The conference will open with welcoming remarks by George Washington Law School professor and former FTC Chairman…

The Federal Trade Commission has revised the thresholds that determine whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act. The new thresholds take effect February 25, 2016. As of that date, a transaction resulting in an acquiring person holding an aggregate total amount of voting…

Federal lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would eliminate differences in the procedures used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in challenging unconsummated acquisitions and mergers. The proposed “Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act of 2015” or “SMARTER Act” is intended to address concerns that…

We have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the EU Merger Regulation, which came into force on 21 September 1990. Since that date, we have seen an exponential growth in merger control notifications at the European level – at least up until the financial crisis that began in 2008. The good news is that, to…