FTC Competition Director Announces Guidelines for Negotiating Merger Remedies

For Release

Federal Trade Commission Competition Director Joe Simons today announced the issuance of the Bureau's new "Statement of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition on Negotiating Merger Remedies." This Statement is the latest in a continuing effort of the Commission to increase the transparency of its processes - this one relating specifically to negotiation of merger remedies.

The Statement, which is available on the FTC's Web site as a link to this press release, addresses issues raised in workshops held across the country over the last year focusing on these issues. The Bureau hopes the Statement will streamline the merger settlement negotiation process by explaining the basis for decisions that have been made in recent cases and that are likely to drive future decisions as well.

In general, the Statement indicates that the staff will continue to listen to all alternatives the parties wish to present when negotiating merger settlements. The Statement, however, points out that the merging parties can exercise a considerable amount of influence over the time and analytical detail needed to reach agreement. The divestiture of an ongoing, stand-alone business, for example, often can be done after the close of the primary transaction, and the negotiation of such an order can be done with substantially less time and effort than more complicated proposals.

Today's announcement is part of a continuing dialogue on the merger settlement process. The Bureau will continue to review its position and will consider the particular facts of a case when negotiating any settlement.

Copies of the Bureau of Competition's Statement on Negotiating Merger Remedies can be found on the FTC's Web site as a link to this release. The 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 FTC 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:
Joe Simons,
Bureau of Competition
202-326-3300