The Federal Trade Commission, together with the Department of Justice Acting Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, released the 38th Annual Hart-Scott-Rodino Report. The report presents fiscal year 2015 data on the HSR Premerger Notification Program, which is key to alerting the agencies to transactions that may substantially lessen competition in violation of federal law.
The report notes that 1,801 transactions were reported to antitrust agencies during fiscal year 2015, an 8.3 percent increase from the 1,663 transactions reported in fiscal year 2014. The report summarizes the agencies’ merger enforcement activities, highlighting the 42 merger enforcement actions taken to preserve competition in diverse and important sectors of the economy, including consumer goods and services, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, high tech and industrial goods, and energy.
Among the highlights, in July 2015, the Commission successfully concluded its challenge of Sysco Corporation’s proposed $8.2 billion acquisition of the rival broadline foodservice distributor, US Foods, Inc., when the parties abandoned their proposed merger after a district court granted the Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction. In September 2015, the Commission successfully concluded its challenge of Dollar Tree Inc.’s proposed $9.2 billion acquisition of rival discount store Family Dollar, by finalizing its order requiring a divestiture of 330 stores.
The report includes statistical tables profiling HSR filings and investigations during fiscal year 2015. Appendices provide a summary of transactions for the past 10 years, as well as the number of transactions reported and the number of filings received for each month during this time period.
Enacted by Congress in 1976, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act gives the federal 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 3-0. (FTC File No. P110014; the staff contact is Evan Storm, 202-326-3193)
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