U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission Announce New Horizontal Merger Guidelines

August 20, 2010

On August 19, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission jointly issued new Horizontal Merger Guidelines, which the agencies claim better reflect their actual practices, provide more clarity and transparency, and will provide businesses with a greater understanding of how the agencies review transactions.

As compared to the 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, the new guidelines place heightened emphasis on the competitive effects of a merger and offer specific examples of the types and sources of evidence the agencies consider when analyzing the competitive effects of a deal. The new guidelines also update the concentration thresholds above which agencies will draw inferences about the predicted effects of the merger on market power; contain new sections on mergers between competing buyers and partial acquisitions; and discuss additional factors that the agencies may find important in analyzing a merger, such as innovation, product variety, coordinated effects, price discrimination and market entry.

If you have any questions or need any additional information about the new Horizontal Merger Guidelines, please feel free to contact the lawyers in the Antitrust Department at McGuireWoods.