The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division released the agencies’ 41st Annual Hart-Scott-Rodino Report. The report provides HSR Premerger Notification data for fiscal year 2018. Under the HSR Premerger Notification Program, companies report some proposed mergers and acquisitions to the government before they occur, and the agencies identify and challenge those transactions that may substantially lessen competition in violation of federal law.
As the report explains, companies notified the agencies of 2,111 HSR reportable transactions during fiscal year 2018, which is a 2.9% increase over the 2,052 transactions reported in fiscal year 2017. The report also summarizes the agencies’ merger enforcement activities for fiscal year 2018, with a total of 39 merger challenges brought to maintain competition in sectors of great importance to consumers, including healthcare, technology, medical devices, energy, and consumer goods and services.
The Federal Trade Commission alone brought 22 merger enforcement actions in fiscal year 2018, including five mergers that the Commission voted to block through litigation. In five other matters, the parties abandoned or restructured their transaction due to the Commission’s antitrust concerns. The Commission also issued 12 consent orders, resolving competition concerns in markets affected by the mergers.