Federal Agencies Publish Draft Guidelines Addressing Antitrust Risk of Vertical Mergers

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2020

puzzle-gearOn Jan. 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released draft guidelines on vertical mergers. The proposed guidelines outline a process for how federal antitrust agencies review vertical mergers in order to determine whether the mergers violate antitrust law.

Vertical mergers combine two or more companies that operate at different levels of the supply chain. An example of a vertical merger in health care is the 2018 merger between CVS and Aetna.

In a press release, the DOH and FTC note that previous guidelines were established over 25 years ago, and vertical mergers have rarely been challenged by the federal government during that time. The agencies say that additional parameters must be established to effectively analyze the potential anti-competitive risks of vertical mergers.

View the vertical mergers draft guidelines here.

Public comments on the draft guidelines were being accepted through Feb. 11, 2020. 

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