Business Mergers Could Get a Lot Harder
Source: US Chamber of Commerce
The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department released updated merger guidelines on Wednesday. While these guidelines aren’t law, they have shaped how the courts interpret and weigh in on antitrust cases.
• More importantly, they demonstrate the antitrust agencies’ views regarding mergers and acquisitions.
Why it matters: If current agency leaders are successful, the result would be less competition in the economy and a harder path forward for businesses looking to grow.
Be smart: The vast majority of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. raise no competitive concerns.
• Evidence shows that mergers increase competition in the market and provide benefits to American consumers.
• The dire consequences often predicted when mergers are announced often fall flat.
The US Chamber's take: These guidelines are designed to chill merger activity, which will deny smaller companies access to the capital and expertise they need to grow. This places U.S. businesses at a disadvantage with their global competitors.
What’s next: Congress and the courts should continue to reject the agencies’ efforts to undo the consumer welfare standard and decades of antitrust precedent that has served the U.S. economy and consumers so well.