A joint Federal Trade Commission/Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative concerning the review of data from each agency’s respective horizontal-merger enforcement cases was announced today by R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Antitrust Division. The goal of the initiative is to make merger decisions more transparent to the business and legal communities and to offer insight about the agencies’ merger enforcement efforts. The data, which is expected to be made public in December 2003, will analyze each agency’s merger enforcement cases over the past five years.
The initiative was announced during Pate’s speech at the Annual Fall Forum of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law in Washington, DC, on behalf of both agencies.
“Antitrust plays a major role in shaping our markets, institutions, and the relationships with market participants,” said FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris. “More than 20 years have passed since the introduction of the Herfindahl-Hirshman Index as an important initial factor in the review of horizontal mergers. The joint FTC/DOJ data release and workshop announced by Assistant Attorney General Pate today will provide the antitrust community with substantial information on the antitrust agencies’ law enforcement efforts, and is in keeping with our efforts to learn from and build on our past achievements. We look forward to the antitrust communities’ participation in the upcoming workshop.”
The agencies plan to release their initial findings in December. Additional joint FTC/DOJ public workshops, including panelists of practitioners, economists, and academics are planned to provide feedback. They will be scheduled for 2004.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
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