Washington

FTC Boosts Merger Review Trigger

Government increases threshold for antitrust vetting of deals by more than $2.5 million 1/10/2013 01:02:40 PM Eastern

Attention potential merging media and their financial folks,
the Federal Trade Commission has upped its (Hart-Scott-Rodino) competition
review threshold
for deals, effective immediately.

An FTC/DOJ review for potential competition issues, and the
requirement that companies alert the government to the deal, will now be
triggered by deals valued at $70.9 million up from $68.2 million last year.

The companies also must wait a set period of time to give
the government a chance to review the transaction, although the FTC regularly
gives deals with no competition issues the go-ahead via early termination
notices.

The FTC is required to review the trigger every year and
adjust it based on changes in gross national product. It also upped the
threshold for prohibitions on an executive serving as a board member or officer
of two competing companies. The trigger used to be if either company had
capital, surplus and profits totaling more $27,784,000, unless either company
had sales of less than $2,778,400. Now, those figures are $28,883,000 and
$2,888,300, respectively.

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