The Commission has approved the transmittal to Congress of a staff report regarding the following: Reforms to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Merger Review Process. Under Public Law 106-553, which was signed by the President on December 21, 2000, the FTC and the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice were directed to conduct an internal review and implement reforms of the HSR merger review process in order to "eliminate unnecessary burden, remove costly duplication, and eliminate undue delay," and report to Congress within 180 days after enactment as to: 1) which reforms each agency has adopted; 2) which steps each agency has taken to implement such internal reforms; and 3) the effects of such reforms.
Drafted by the FTC in response to this legislation, this report, which is currently available on the Commission's Web site, addresses each of these items in detail, including: 1) approval of interim rules to implement the legislation; 2) amendment of the Commission's Rules of Practice to incorporate procedures for modifications and clarifications of requests for additional information and documents (second requests); 3) amendment of the Commission's Rules of Practice to incorporate procedures for expedited agency review of disagreements between merging parties and agency staff regarding second request modifications or compliance; 4) review of internal processes to eliminate unnecessary burdens and undue delays; 5) implementation of a procedure for a systematic status-check on the progress of negotiations on second request modifications; 6) taking steps to address concerns regarding the production of information from electronic systems; and 7) beginning to consider a number of additional steps (as described in the report) to further reduce burdens and delay.
The Commission vote to approve the staff report and send a copy to Congress was 5-0. (FTC File No. P859910; staff contact is Ernest A. Nagata, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2714; see press releases dated January 25, 2001; March 20, 2001; and May 11, 2001.)
Copies of the document mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.