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FTC to Require Prior Screening of More Deals

Global Competition Review

22 Jul 2021

Alex Okuliar, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global Antitrust Law practice and former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) official, spoke with Global Competition Review following the FTC’s vote to withdraw its 1995 Policy Statement on Prior Approval and Prior Notice provisions for mergers and acquisitions.  

Alex agreed with Commissioner Noah Phillips’s assertion that Wednesday’s policy withdrawal could have a chilling effect on the willingness of merging parties to seek a deal with the commission. 

“I think it impacts the calculus parties undertake in whether to move forward with a consent decree,” Alex said.

Alex said it was still unclear exactly when and how the commission might seek to require such provisions moving forward, but that the Democratic majority appears to want to apply them much more liberally than the narrow manner in which they have typically been applied for the past 25 years.

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