US: Delrahim to shorten merger review process

The head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has said the enforcer will try to close most investigations within six months of filing, provided the merging companies cooperate, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said Tuesday, September 25, in a speech at Georgetown University, “Mergers increasingly take longer to review and clear.” He then continued, “I agree that it is a problem.”

Delrahim said the Department would aim to resolve “most” of its merger investigations within six months after companies submit their paperwork, provided the would-be merger partners provide the relevant data and documents early in the regulatory process.

There will be exceptions to the timeline because some deals present knotty issues that can’t be resolved in a six-month period, he said. And companies, he added, sometimes want to give the government extended time.

“If the goal of the business community is a shorter review, however, we share that goal,” Mr. Delrahim said.

The average duration of significant US merger investigations has been about 10 months in recent years, according to the Journal.

While companies want to reduce regulatory burdens, consumer advocates want antitrust officials to thoroughly vet potential concerns about mergers and to build strong legal cases against problematic deals that can succeed in court, the Journal concluded.

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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