The Urge to Merge - FTC Provides Details on Upcoming Washington, D.C. Workshops on Best Practices

Similar Workshops to be Held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago

The Federal Trade Commission today provided additional details on a series of upcoming public workshops regarding "Merger Investigation Best Practices" that will be held at FTC Headquarters, Room 332, in Washington, D.C., on June 3, June 27, and July 10, 2002. Two of the three D.C. workshops, focusing on general best practices and accounting and financial data, will be moderated by the FTC's Competition Director, Joseph Simons. The third session, focusing on electronic records, will be hosted by a panel of FTC staff members. All sessions are open to all interested parties, with no pre-registration required. Additional general sessions on best practices will be held in New YorkLos AngelesSan Francisco, and Chicago in June, and information about these workshops is available at www.ftc.gov. Anyone wishing to submit written comments in advance of the sessions may do so at bestpractices@ftc.gov.

Detailed information on each of the Washington, D.C. workshops is provided below:

Workshop on Electronic Records - June 3, 2002; 2:00-3:30 pm

This session will focus on the use and maintenance of electronic records during the merger investigation process. Topics of interest will include, but will not be limited to: 1) the use of e-mail and the associated burdens or costs of production on the merging parties; 2) the use of data or information from backup tapes or electronic storage systems and the burden of production on merging parties; and 3) communications between the FTC and the merging parties' IT personnel, such as network administrators. Additional information will be solicited on search methodologies that parties use during the merger process, how to address the issue of upgrades or changes in the information systems of merging parties, and the production format and printing capabilities of electronic merger documents. FTC participants at this session will include D. Bruce Hoffman, associate director for regions; Dennis F. Johnson, attorney, Mergers III Division; and Greg Brown, computer specialist.

General Session on Best Practices - June 27, 2002; 12:00-1:30 pm

The Commission is using this workshop to solicit input from a broad range of interest groups including corporate personnel, outside and in-house attorneys, economists, consumer groups, and others who have participated in the merger review process. Specific areas in which the Commission is seeking input include: the best use of the initial waiting period, the content and scope of second requests, negotiating modifications to second requests, the efficiency of the merger review process, and the time and expense involved in the process. Accordingly, all interested parties are invited to attend and offer views and comments on specific steps the Commission can take to further streamline and make more efficient any aspect of the merger investigation process. FTC participants at this session will include David Scheffman, Director, Bureau of Economics; Michael G. Cowie, senior litigation counsel; Rhett R. Krulla, deputy assistant director, Mergers II Division; and Steven K. Bernstein, deputy assistant director, Mergers I Division.

Workshop on Accounting and Financial Data - July 10, 2002; 2:00-3:30 pm

This session will focus on special issues concerning the development and maintenance of accounting or financial data as related to the merger investigation process. Topics of interest will include, but will not be limited to: 1) the use of accounting or financial data for economic analysis and the burden or costs of production by the merging parties; and 2) communications between the FTC and personnel at the merging parties with knowledge about financial accounting systems, such as controllers. FTC participants at this session will include Mary T. Coleman, associate director, Bureau of Economics; Gabriel H. Dagen, acting assistant director for accounting and financial analysis; and Elizabeth Schneriov, special assistant to the director, Bureau of Economics.

The FTC's Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, Electronic Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published "Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws," which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
Michael G. Cowie,
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2214