Blog Posts Tagged with Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR)

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You don’t have to write a check to acquire an HSR-reportable interest

If your HSR compliance program tracks only those acquisitions that require a payment, you may miss a variety of reportable acquisitions, leading to liability and fines for failures to file. In most situations, you have to file notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act before you pay to purchase voting securities, assets, or certain non-corporate interests. As a result, many HSR compliance programs kick in when someone has to write a check. Below we flag some examples of situations in which you may need to file – a compliance program that won’t catch these isn’t doing its job.

Avoiding antitrust pitfalls during pre-merger negotiations and due diligence

Most antitrust practitioners are attuned to advising clients about the antitrust risk that a proposed acquisition may violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act. But counsel and clients must also be conscious of the risks of sharing information with a competitor before and during merger negotiations—a concern that remains until the merger closes.

HSR threshold adjustments and reportability for 2018

When Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, it created minimum dollar thresholds to limit the burden of premerger reporting. In 2000, it amended the HSR statute to require the annual adjustment of these thresholds based on the change in gross national product. As a result, reportability under the Act changes from year to year as the statutory thresholds adjust. The PNO fields many questions about the upcoming adjustments to the HSR thresholds from parties whose transactions may take place around the time of the revisions.

“All” means All: Submit side agreements with an HSR filing

When preparing an HSR filing for a proposed acquisition, some practitioners counsel their clients not to submit binding agreements or side letters negotiated between the merging parties that reflect the parties’ antitrust review obligations, risk-sharing commitments, and potential remedial measures. Some claim that these “side agreements” are ancillary to the main agreement, while others withhold such side agreements believing they are protected by a common interest privilege or as part of a joint defense agreement.

Have an HSR question? Help us answer you quickly

The staff of the Premerger Notification Office processes, reviews, and answers inquiries related to around two thousand transactions, involving roughly 4,000 HSR filings, each year. The number one priority of the PNO is to process incoming HSR filings in a timely fashion so Bureau of Competition and Antitrust Division litigation staff can review filings of interest and we can clear non-problematic transactions for closing as quickly as possible.

DOJ’s Premerger and Division Statistics Unit is moving!

On Monday, November 27, 2017, the Premerger and Division Statistics Unit of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is relocating to the Liberty Square Building at 450 Fifth Street, N.W.

As of November 27, 2017, all mail and overnight deliveries related to HSR filings should be addressed to:

Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
Premerger and Division Statistics Unit
450 Fifth Street, N.W.
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Diving into the data in the HSR Report

Today the FTC and DOJ released the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016. The Report is the 39th accounting of the agencies’ premerger notification program under the HSR Act, and it covers all premerger notification and merger enforcement activity initiated between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Here is a data-driven summary of the Report.

You can’t certify substantial compliance with just a “Partial Log”

In order to reduce the burden associated with submitting detailed information for every document withheld on a claim of privilege, the Bureau has established an optional two-step privilege log process. Rather than submitting a complete privilege log for all withheld documents and custodians, parties may opt to initially submit an abbreviated log of documents withheld on a claim of privilege. This is called a Partial Log.

Getting in Sync with HSR Timing Considerations

The Hart Scott Rodino (HSR) Act and Rules require that parties to certain mergers and acquisitions submit premerger notification filings and wait before consummating the transaction. Parties must often balance the HSR filing requirement with a number of other regulatory requirements, as well as any conditions to closing.

HSR threshold adjustments and reportability for 2017

When Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, it created minimum dollar thresholds to limit the burden of premerger reporting. In 2000, it amended the HSR statute to require the annual adjustment of these thresholds based on the change in gross national product. As a result, reportability under the Act changes from year to year as the statutory thresholds adjust. The PNO fields many questions about the upcoming adjustments to the HSR thresholds from parties whose transactions may take place around the time of the revisions.

LBOs and the size of transaction test

The Premerger Notification Office is often asked to give guidance on how to determine the value of a proposed merger or acquisition in light of the size of transaction test. The size of transaction test excludes transactions from the reporting requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act if they are valued below the annually adjusted dollar threshold. The current size of transaction threshold is $78.2 million.

New and improved HSR Form Instructions – plus filing by DVD

On August 26, 2016, the FTC, with the concurrence of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, took steps to make the process of completing and submitting Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification filings easier. The effective date of the new rules is today, September 1, 2016.

Snapshots vs. panoramic views of merger enforcement

Today the FTC and DOJ released the 38th Annual Hart-Scott-Rodino Report, which details the agencies’ merger review and enforcement program for Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015). This report, like the 37 previous versions, is a snapshot of one year’s worth of HSR filings, Second Requests and merger enforcement actions, including HSR compliance and merger cases filed by the agencies in federal court.

Inflation increases for maximum civil penalty amounts

Last year, federal agencies, including the FTC, were instructed to adjust the maximum civil penalties for violations of laws they enforce. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires agencies to adjust penalty amounts using the “catch-up” inflation adjustment methodology contained in the Act.

Wiring your HSR filing fee just got easier

The PNO handles Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Filings for well over a thousand transactions each year. Each transaction requires the acquiring person to pay an HSR filing fee, which must be paid within two days of filing an HSR Form in order for the HSR waiting period to begin. If payment isn’t received on time, the PNO will "bounce" the filing as incomplete and delay the start of the waiting period.

The FTC has recently made some changes that will make it easier to get your HSR filing fee to the agency.  This blog provides an overview of what’s new.

Corporate or Non-Corporate? A New Approach To Classifying Foreign Entities Under HSR Rules

Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act and Rules, determining whether a U.S. entity is a corporation or a non-corporate entity (like an LLC or LP) is relatively clear.  For foreign entities, the answer is often not so clear. Yet this determination can have important implications for HSR reportability and the applicability of certain exemptions (e.g., 16 CFR §§ 802.9, 802.51).

HSR threshold adjustments and reportability for 2016

When Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, it created minimum dollar thresholds to limit the burden of premerger reporting. In 2000, it amended the HSR statute to require the annual adjustment of these thresholds based on the change in gross national product. As a result, reportability under the Act changes from year to year as the statutory thresholds adjust. The PNO fields many questions about the upcoming adjustments to the HSR thresholds from parties whose transactions may take place around the time of the revisions.

Calculating the value of stock under HSR rules

The Hart-Scott-Rodino statute and rules contain a number of reporting thresholds for transactions subject to premerger notification filing with the FTC and DOJ. In this post, we are going to focus on how to value publicly traded stock in order to determine reportability under the various filing thresholds. Some of the most frequent questions we get involve how to value acquisitions of voting securities in 801.30 transactions, given the volatile nature of the stock market.

What are the HSR notification thresholds for voting securities?

“Investment-only” means just that

Today, the Commission (with the help of our friends at the Justice Department) filed a proposed settlement in federal court to settle charges that three funds managed by Third Point violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act by failing to make the necessary premerger notification filings when they acquired shares of Yahoo! Inc.

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