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FTC, DOJ Set New Guidelines for Merger Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today released updated merger guidelines aimed at strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers. The agencies first solicited input from the public on the new guidelines in January 2022. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“The new merger guidelines send a clear signal to corporate America: no more free passes on illegal mergers. Under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter and FTC Chair Lina Khan, the federal government has revitalized merger control and steered away from decades of obfuscation by conservative economists and lawyers.

“The new guidelines are updated to reflect the realities of the harms that mergers inflict on workers, markets, and the overall economy. They set out clear, bright line rules for when a deal violates the law by lessening competition or creating a monopoly. The vague, malleable pro-business standard set out under previous administrations is rightfully in the rear view.

“This update is sorely needed, long overdue, and will help businesses and regular Americans. By releasing the new guidelines, the FTC and DOJ are working to ensure that they can access the tools, available under longstanding law, to push back on one of the main forces behind corporate concentration: mergers.”