Radical New Burdens for Marginal Benefit


The Global Antitrust Institute (“GAI”) provided comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in response to the FTC’s proposal to make significant amendments to the rules governing premerger notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The proposal will, if implemented, substantially increase burdens on all merging parties, regardless of whether the transaction reported poses an anticompetitive risk. In Section I we review the market for corporate control and the benefits it can have for effective firm management, allocative efficiency of economic resources, and consumer welfare. In Section II we explain how, contrary to the FTC’s view, the proposed changes will significantly increase the burden imposed on filing parties. This will impede the market for corporate control and consequently reduce productivity and inhibit innovation in other markets. In Section III we highlight potential conflicts between the proposed rule amendments and the Administrative Procedures Act.