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The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, released the agencies’ fiscal year (FY) 2012 report summarizing their review of mergers under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Premerger Notification Program. In FY 2012, 1,429 transactions were reported to the antitrust agencies. The report highlights the 44 merger enforcement actions brought by the agencies in FY 2012, representing a 16 percent increase over the number of merger enforcement actions in FY 2011.

The 35th Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report (Fiscal Year 2012) summarizes enforcement activities between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012, and reviews the agencies’ activities to ensure that companies are complying with the premerger notification rules and procedures.  This year, the agencies’ merger enforcement actions preserved competition in numerous sectors of the economy, including pharmaceuticals, hospital and other health care providers and health insurance, industrial and high tech goods, energy, aircraft components, food production, consumer products, banking, and parking services.

The agencies also brought two actions against parties for failing to file notifications as required by the HSR Act, and the parties ultimately paid a combined total of $1.4 million in civil penalties.  The report also highlights an August 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking containing proposed amendments to the premerger notification rules to provide a framework for determining when a transaction involving the transfer of rights to a patent in the pharmaceutical industry is reportable under the HSR Act. Finally, statistical tables in the report present data profiling HSR filings and enforcement interest during FY 2012.  Appendices provide a summary of transactions for fiscal years 2003-2012, and the number of transactions reported and the number of filings received by month during this time.

The report also describes the HSR Act and provides an overview of how the federal antitrust agencies have implemented it since it was enacted in the late 1970s. The report concludes with an assessment that, as Congress intended, the HSR Act continues to give the government the opportunity to investigate and challenge mergers that are likely to harm consumers before injury occurs. The Commission vote to issue the report was 4-0. It is available on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. P110014; the staff contact is Joseph E. Remy, 202-326-2862)

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, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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