Antitrust/Merger Control

1. Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings

Higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 will become effective on February 24, 2014. The filing thresholds are revised annually, based on the change in gross national product.Continue Reading Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications Effective February 24, 2014

In Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Citigroup, Inc., No. 10-0722-cv(L) and 10-0867-cv(CON), 2013 WL 791397 (2d Cir. Mar. 5, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuitupheld the dismissal of two related class action complaints brought on behalf of purchasers of auction rate securities (“ARS”) and ARS issuers, respectively, against a number of large financial institutions. The complaints alleged that the financial institutions violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, by conspiring to stop purchasing ARS, thereby rendering ARS almost valueless and triggering the collapse of the ARS market. The Second Circuit based its holding upon a principle first announced by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) [see blog article here] — that antitrust complaints must allege sufficient factual matter to allow a fact-finder to plausibly infer that the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries were the result of an unlawful conspiracy, rather than independent parallel business conduct.Continue Reading Second Circuit Rules That Putative Auction Rate Securities Class Action Complaints Failed to Adequately Plead Antitrust Conspiracy

1. Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings

Higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 became effective on February 11, 2013. The filing thresholds are revised annually, based on the change in gross national product.Continue Reading Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications Effective February 11, 2013

On February 1, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to amend the Rules under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 regarding the withdrawal of a premerger notification filing. The amendments would add a new §803.12 “Withdraw and refile notification,” to the HSR Rules.Continue Reading FTC Proposes Amendments To The Hart-Scott-Rodino Rules Regarding Withdrawal Of A Premerger Notification Filing

By Robert Magielnicki and Malika Levarlet

One does not usually associate the possibility of criminal penalties with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act premerger review process. However, on May 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") announced that an executive of a South Korean company agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice charges and to serve five months in prison for altering documents filed with the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") in connection with a proposed merger.Continue Reading Tampering with documents in connection with a merger investigation can land you in jail!

1. Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings

On January 24, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised, higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The filing thresholds are revised annually, based on the change in gross national product and will be effective thirty days after publication in the Federal Register. Publication is expected within a week, so the new thresholds will most likely become effective in late February 2012. Acquisitions that have not closed by the effective date will be subject to the new thresholds.Continue Reading Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced


1.         New Thresholds For HSR Filings

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”) imposes notification and waiting period obligations on parties to certain mergers, acquisitions, formations of joint ventures and unincorporated entities, and other transactions. Parties to an HSR-reportable transaction must notify the federal government and observe a waiting period, usually 30 days, before completing the transaction. A transaction is generally reportable if it meets a Size of Transaction test and a Size of Person test. Each “person” who is a party to an HSR-reportable deal must file an HSR notification with the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission. 
 Continue Reading New Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced