FTC, DOJ Temporarily Suspend Early Termination Reviews

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The Federal Trade Commission, with the support of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will suspend the practice of allowing "early termination" of antitrust reviews. Early termination allows regulators to cut short the review period if they determine a merger is unlikely to raise significant antitrust concerns.

The temporary suspension results from the recent transition to a new administration, and from the unprecedented volume of HSR (Hart-Scott-Rodino Act) filings since the start of the fiscal year. The agencies anticipate that the suspension will be brief. The decision follows a similar temporary suspension instituted in March 2020, when the Premerger Notification Office established its online e-filing system.

The current HSR Premerger Notification Program requires reporting parties to wait 30 days before closing a deal (15 days for a cash tender or bankruptcy transaction). Enforcers may grant early termination for deals unlikely to raise antitrust concerns.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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