Commission Approves FY 2007 HSR Premerger Notification Report

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– The Commission, with the concurrence of the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, has released the Thirtieth Annual Report to Congress Regarding the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Program.The report summarizes Commission and Department of Justice actions conducted under the HSR Act in fiscal year (FY) 2007. During FY 2007, 2,201 premerger transactions were reported under the HSR Act; this is an increase of 24 percent over the 1,768 transactions reported in FY 2006. The report describes the HSR Act and provides an overview of how the federal antitrust agencies have implemented the Act since its enactment in the late 1970s.

The report presents FY 2007 developments relating to compliance with the Premerger Notification Rules and Procedures, followed by a discussion of both FTC and DOJ merger enforcement activities during the year. Finally, the report includes a summary of the ongoing reassessment of the effects of the Premerger Notification Program. Appendices provide a summary of transactions for fiscal years 1998-2007, and the number of transactions reported as filings by month during this time. A statistical table presents data profiling HSR filings and enforcement interest during FY 2007. The Commission vote to issue the report was 4-0. The report is available on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, (FTC File No. P110014; the staff contact is Robert L. Jones, Office of Premerger Notification, 202-326-2740.)

Commission Authorizes Submission of Letter to Colorado Public Utilities Commission

– The Commission has authorized the staff of the Office of Policy Planning, the Bureau of Competition, and the Bureau of Economics to submit a letter to Administrative Law Judge G. Harris Adams of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)regarding the application of Union Taxi Cooperative for permanent authority to operate a taxi service in Denver. The staff’s letter does not address the merits of the application, but instead is intended to provide general guidance to the CPUC in considering whether allowing entry is likely to be in the public interest.

According to the staff letter, studies show that deregulation of taxicab markets has not led to significant harm to consumers or competition and, in some instances, has generated consumer benefits in the form of lower prices and improved service. Staff notes that special issues have sometimes arisen following regulatory reform, as in the case of taxicab lines at airports, rail stations, or downtown taxicab stand areas, but concludes that these problems do not generally provide an argument for restricting entry. The letter concludes that new entry is highly unlikely to harm the public interest.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to submit the letter, which is available on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, was 4-0. (FTC File No. V090000; the staff contact is Christopher M. Grengs, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2612.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 52.2008.wpd)

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