Mergers & Acquisitions Securities Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Antitrust Enforcers At It Again: More HSR Actions Against Individuals Announced

In a trend that is sure to continue no matter the policy leanings of the incoming Trump administration, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week that it has obtained nearly $1 million in civil penalties for two...more

Annual HSR Merger Notification Threshold Adjustments Announced

On January 19, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the thresholds of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (the HSR Act). These thresholds are adjusted annually based on changes in...more

HSR Act Violations Continue Trend of Heightened Enforcement, Increased Fines in 2016

The past year was a challenging one for investors purchasing voting securities in public corporations with respect to compliance with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act....more

Change in Shareholder Approval Requirements for Certain TSX-V-Listed Issuers Undertaking a Change of Business or Reverse Takeover

On December 15, 2016, the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) published amended Policy 5.2 – Changes of Business and Reverse Takeovers of the TSX Venture Exchange Corporate Finance Manual (Policy 5.2). The amendments to Policy 5.2...more

China’s MOFCOM Announces First-Ever Gun-Jumping Penalty in a Transaction Not Involving a Chinese Company

MOFCOM continues efforts to increase enforcement of its merger notification requirements, despite very limited penalty options. On January 4, 2016, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced that it had fined...more

Further Guidance on the HSR Act Investment-Only Exemption for Seemingly “Passive” Investors Engaging with Management

Investors considering engaging with management should take note of a recent informal interpretation received from the FTC’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) advising that certain seemingly “passive” behavior is...more

China Simplifies Its Legal Administration of Foreign Direct Investments

In order to implement the State Counsel’s decision issued on September 3, 2016 (State Counsel’s Decision), which simplifies the original substantive review and approval process (Approval System) to a new simple filing system...more

Antitrust Updates for Private Equity Firms

In an era of robust merger enforcement by the U.S. antitrust agencies, opportunities abound for private equity firms to acquire divested businesses for value. These acquisitions of divested businesses are increasingly subject...more

Minority shareholdings: New competition law issues?

New competition law issues with respect to minority shareholdings? A topic that recently became prominent in the competition law community and beyond is whether so-called “common ownership” may have a negative effect on...more

HSR 2015 Annual Report: Filings Up, Second Requests Down and ESO/RSU Implications

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report Fiscal Year 2015, published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), summarizes FTC and DOJ actions conducted under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust...more

CMA Taking Increasingly Intrusive Approach To Monitoring UK Deals

Since its launch in April 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has played a crucial role in determining the outcome of some of the UK’s headline deals. Last year alone, the CMA scrutinised over 60 deals including...more

Can a shareholder who is unable to rely on the HSR passive investor exemption still file a Schedule 13G? Maybe, says the SEC Staff...

On July 12, 2016, the US Department of Justice announced a record $11 million fine against an activist investment firm for improperly claiming an exemption from Hart-Scott-Rodino’s notification and waiting period provisions...more

ValueAct Settlement Marks Record Penalty in Heightened Agency Efforts Against HSR Act Violations

Where is the line drawn between acquisitions of securities made “solely for the purpose of investment” on one hand, and influencing control, thereby requiring regulatory approval, on the other hand? That is the central...more

Record Setting Fine for Violation of HSR Reporting Requirements

On July 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (Antitrust Division) announced that it reached a settlement with ValueAct, and its related companies (ValueAct), of alleged violations of the...more

ValueAct Settles for Record HSR Fine

Activist investor ValueAct Capital agreed to pay an $11 million fine and also agreed to injunctive relief to settle the DOJ’s allegations that it violated the HSR Act in connection with its acquisition of over $2.5 billion of...more

Competition News May 2016

Divesture commitments in a merger operation: reminder to maintain the profitability of the transferred business - On April 19, 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) once again punished the failure to respect the...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 5.9.16

Friday’s jobs report underwhelmed, but it shouldn’t necessarily put off a June rate hike by the Fed, says the Journal, especially given the news that wages climbed last month – WSJ... Fair Game got downright monarchical...more

HSR Suit Between DOJ and ValueAct Offers Potential to Clarify "Investment-Only" Exemption

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had filed a civil antitrust complaint against investment fund ValueAct Capital, alleging that ValueAct improperly relied upon the "investment-only"...more

DOJ Suit Against ValueAct Shines Spotlight on HSR Requirements for Shareholder Activists

Suit signals potential consequences for activist investors who rely on the HSR “solely for purposes of investment” exemption. On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued certain ValueAct Capital entities...more

Activist Funds Should Heed the Latest Enforcement of the HSR Act

The limits on an investor’s ability to acquire stock under the “investment-only” exemption to the HSR Act’s reporting requirements take center stage as the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”)...more

When Passive Investors Take a Stand – HSR Act Enforcement Put to the Test

Enforcement actions for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) often are announced with substantial money penalties or other restrictions agreed in advance between the agency and the parties. Not so with the Department...more

"Interpretation of Antitrust Exemption at Heart of DOJ Action Against ValueAct"

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) filed a complaint against activist investor ValueAct Capital in California federal court, requesting a $19 million fine for violations of the...more

Narrow Reading Of HSR Investment-Only Exemption Continues

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against activist investor ValueAct Capital. The DOJ asserts that ValueAct improperly relied on the “investment only” exemption to the...more

Activism (Re)Defined: DOJ Files Complaint Against ValueAct for Alleged HSR Act Violation

In filing a complaint and seeking $19 million of damages against ValueAct for failing to file a premerger notification and observe the statutory waiting period pursuant to the HSR Act in connection with its 2014 purchase of...more

The HSR Act and You: Failing to Report Executives' Stock Purchases and Option Exercises is No Joke

THE RULE TO REMEMBER… Whenever an individual exercises stock options, receives restricted stock awards, or even makes an open market purchase, there may be an attendant requirement to file an individual Hart-Scott-Rodino...more

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