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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have made changes to reduce the filing burden and streamline the form parties must file when seeking antitrust clearance of proposed mergers and acquisitions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act and the Premerger Notification Rules.

The revisions are part of ongoing efforts by the FTC and DOJ to review their regulations, ensure that the rules are necessary and up-to-date, and eliminate unnecessary or potentially overly burdensome reporting requirements for business. The changes will make the HSR form easier to complete, reduce the burden for most filers, and make the premerger notification review program more effective for both agencies.

The revised HSR form deletes several categories of information that over time have proven unnecessary in a preliminary merger review. For example, HSR filers will no longer be required to provide copies of documents – whether in hard copy or via electronic link – filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, report economic code “base year” data, or give a detailed breakdown of all the voting securities to be acquired. The new form also will require filers to provide the FTC and DOJ with narrowly focused additional documents that will help expedite the merger review process.

The revised form changes certain kinds of required reporting, such as revenue information by industry NAICS code, and the identity of holders and holdings of the entities making a filing. In addition, new concepts are introduced that are designed to expedite the antitrust review, including reporting information about “associates” of the acquiring person. Changes also include minor revisions to the HSR Rules to address omissions from the 2005 Rule changes involving unincorporated entities.

The Revision Process

Last August the FTC and DOJ sought public comments on the proposed changes. The agencies worked together to modify the original proposal in response to these comments to clarify the proposed amendments and to ensure that they accurately reflect both agencies’ interests in streamlining the HSR form. This will reduce burdens on businesses while still enabling the FTC and DOJ to obtain the information and documents they need in their merger review process.

The Commission vote approving the final amendments to Parts 801, 802, and 803 of the HSR Rules was 5-0. The revised Rules can be found here and on the FTC’s website as a link to this press release.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(FTC File No. P989316)

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs

Robert L. Jones
FTC Bureau of Competition
Gina Talamona
DOJ Antitrust Division