Antitrust Division "Hogties" Smithfield Foods with a $900,000 Civil Penalty for Gun-Jumping

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The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice recently demonstrated that the antitrust agencies continue to deal sternly with companies who fail to comply with the premerger reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (the “HSR Act”). On January 21, 2010, the Division announced a proposed settlement with Smithfield Foods and Premium Standard Farms requiring the companies to pay $900,000 in civil penalties for “gun-jumping” in connection with Smithfield’s May 2007 acquisition of Premium Standard.

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