The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly released proposed updates Tuesday of their horizontal merger guidelines. Under the revised guidelines, the agencies aim to make the merger process more transparent to businesses as well as the courts, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the guidelines at first glance appear to be nearly identical to the current rubric. But the proposed guidelines release the agencies from following a single methodology when conducting merger investigations, rather allowing them to analyze the action on a fact-specific basis.
"Both DOJ and FTC determined that the current guidelines should be updated to reflect better the current economic thinking and actual agency practice of merger analysis," Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told the Journal. "We believe that this is necessary to ensure greater transparency into current practice and will allow for more certainty for business and consumers."