Washington, DC - The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission today announced two public workshops, on March 11, 2020 and March 18, 2020, to solicit public dialogue on the draft vertical merger guidelines released on Jan. 10, 2020. The two half-day workshops will allow for a dynamic discussion about the proposed guidelines to complement any written public comments about the draft guidelines that are submitted to the agencies. The agencies will select panelists for the workshops from those that file public comments and indicate their interest and availability to participate.
The agencies also announced today that they will extend the deadline for submitting public comments regarding the draft vertical merger guidelines. The new final deadline for submitting comments is Feb. 26, 2020.
“The Antitrust Division has benefitted greatly from public engagement in preparing the draft guidelines, and I expect that will continue through the comment and workshop process,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Afterwards, we look forward to finalizing the first update to our vertical merger guidelines in more than three decades.”
The draft guidelines describe how the federal antitrust agencies review vertical mergers to evaluate whether they violate antitrust law. Vertical mergers combine two or more companies that operate at different levels of the supply chain. The draft guidelines outline the agencies’ principal analytical techniques, practices, and enforcement policy for vertical mergers. The agencies will consider both public comments and workshop discussions before issuing final Vertical Merger Guidelines.