The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it will hold a second round of hearings on its Joint Venture Project during November 1997. The hearings, as well as public comments, will allow the Commission to receive input on issues concerning business collaborations among competitors. Notice of the hearings and request for comments will be published in the Federal Register.
The Joint Venture Project, initiated earlier this year and undertaken by the Commission in collaboration with the Department of Justice, is considering whether antitrust guidance to the business community can be improved by clarifying and updating antitrust policies regarding joint ventures and other forms of competitor collaborations. One outcome of the project could be development of additional guidelines to describe the antitrust analysis of joint ventures and other competitor collaborations.
Today’s announcement lists several questions on which the Commission currently is seeking comment. "This set of questions focuses primarily on the possible efficiencies of joint ventures and the relationship between those efficiencies and a joint venture’s structure and operating rules," FTC Policy Planning Director Susan DeSanti explained. "The questions also provide an opportunity for follow-up comments on issues that our first round of public input -- directed largely at joint ventures’ potential anticompetitive consequences -- identified as warranting further attention," she added.
For example, the Commission asks: "What kinds of efficiency benefits are most frequently attributed to competitor collaborations . . . ?" and "What types of agreements or mechanisms are most frequently or most successfully used to align incentives? to safeguard the value of assets or efforts that individual participants might contribute to the collaboration? to deal with possible disputes among the participants?"
The vote to authorize publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0.
Those interested in submitting written comments must do so by December 12, 1997. Requests to participate in the public hearings should be submitted by October 17, 1997. Written comments and notices of interest in participating in the hearings should be addressed to Donald S. Clark, Office of the Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments should be identified as "Comment on Issues relating to Joint Venture Project -- Second Federal Register Notice." Additional information may be obtained from the FTC’s Policy Planning staff at 202-326-3712.
The Commission’s announcement, with a full list of questions, will be published in the Federal Register. Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC’s web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the Commission’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326- 2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261.