Premerger Notification Program

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act established the federal premerger notification program, which provides the FTC and the Department of Justice with information about large mergers and acquisitions before they occur.  The parties to certain proposed transactions must submit premerger notification to the FTC and DOJ.  Premerger notification involves completing an HSR Form, also called a “Notification and Report Form for Certain Mergers and Acquisitions,” with information about each company’s business.  The parties may not close their deal until the waiting period outlined in the HSR Act has passed, or the government has granted early termination of the waiting period.  For more information about the program, read our Introductory Guides.  The FTC administers the premerger notification program, and the staff of the Premerger Notification Office is available to answer questions about how and when to file.

Special Highlights

  • Important Notice:  Per an executive order by President Obama, executive branch non-Postal Service employees are excused from duty on Friday, December 26, 2014. The Premerger Notification Office will not be open to accept HSR filings on that date. Please note that this will not change HSR waiting periods. If you have a filing with a waiting period scheduled to end on December 26, 2014, that waiting period will not be affected.

  • The PNO’s new blog post is up!  Find out “How to avoid common HSR filing mistakes with attachments.”  We also invite you to peruse all the blog posts related to Premerger and HSR.

  • Attention Filers:  The Premerger Notification Office has experienced a few changes since we’ve come to our new home in the Constitution Center.  Some of those changes can affect the arrival of your filings by messenger.  Due to the security procedures and physical size of the Constitution Center, once a messenger has arrived at the building it takes in excess of 10 minutes to reach the PNO office.  While the PNO is open to accept HSR filings at its 5th floor intake window from 8:30 AM until 5:00PM, Monday through Friday, a messenger arriving after 4:50PM cannot make it from the loading dock entry, through security, to the 5th floor HSR window by 5:00PM, so building security is turning away newly arrived messengers at 4:50PM each day.  If you want to guarantee that your filing arrives at the PNO window by 5:00PM, please send any messenger with ample time to arrive at the building well in advance of 4:50PM.

    We’re sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.  Thank you.

  • An updated Index of HSR Enforcement Actions is available, listing actions through August 2014.

  • The MMA Filing Instructions (for brand name drug manufacturers and generic drug applicants who file certain agreements with the Antitrust Agencies under the Medicare Prescription Drug and Improvement Act) have been updated with the new address for the FTC's Premerger Office.  (July 2014)

  • REMINDER:  Sometimes filing parties reference an attachment in response to Items 4 through 8 of the HSR Form instead of providing the requested information in the Form itself - for instance, a separate log of 4(c) documents.  If you do this, PLEASE place the attachment behind the page of the Form to which it relates or at the end of the Form itself.  This information is a necessary part of the Form and needs to be provided in all originals and copies of the Form filed with the FTC and DOJ.  DO NOT intersperse such referenced attachments for Items 4 through 8 among the documentary attachments (e.g., placing the separate 4(c) log at the beginning of the 4(c) documents), as those documents are not part of the Form itself.

  • The 2013 HSR Annual Report is now available.

  • Attention:  The Constitution Center does not allow messengers with cleats into the building.  Please DO NOT send messengers with cleats to deliver HSR filings.  Starting immediately, the PNO will not meet messengers with cleats at the loading docks.  (June 2, 2014)

  • The HSR Form Instructions have been updated to include the new address of the FTC Premerger Office. The new instructions can be found here.

  • Important Announcement:  Building management at the Constitution Center has changed the security procedures for the delivery of HSR filings.  Messengers delivering HSR filings must now enter the building through the loading dock entrance on 6th Street SW near School St. SW.  Complete directions can be found here.  Note that messengers will not be allowed to wear cleats into the building.

  • When the Premerger Office moves to its new home on April 28, 2014, messengers delivering HSR filings will have to comply with new security procedures. These procedures, as well as maps to the new office, are available here.

  • Withdraw/Refile procedure tip sheet now available.  (March 21, 2014)

  • The Premerger Office is moving!  As part of the consolidation of FTC staff, the Premerger Notification Office will be moving to new offices on the 5th floor of the Constitution Center on April 28. For more details, see our new blog post here. We will be providing additional information, including new security procedures for filing delivery, on this page and on the blog in the coming weeks.

  • The FTC has a new blog reporting on competition matters at the FTC.  The PNO has contributed two posts: HSR threshold adjustments and reportability and Location and Value of Patents.  To follow all the posts from the PNO, bookmark this link.

  • FTC Finalizes Amendments to the Premerger Notification Rules Related to the Transfer of Exclusive Patent Rights in the Pharmaceutical Industry (November 6, 2013)
  • When submitting an explanation letter for a corrective filing, please submit the letter at the same time as the filing.
  • Comments on the Proposed Rules related to patent rights in the Pharmaceutical industry are available.
  • Proposed Amendments to the Premerger Rules Related to the Transfer of Patent Rights in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • PNO News Archive