Pre-Merger Review and Challenges Under the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act [open pdf - 919KB]
"Preserving competition is an overarching purpose of federal laws governing business mergers. Though other federal laws, including the Sherman Act, seek to address anticompetitive behavior relating to monopolization, two federal statutes, in particular, address harms that may result from proposed mergers. Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers 'in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce' that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) prohibits unfair methods of competition, which includes any activity that violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Pursuant to the Clayton and FTC Acts, Congress authorized the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to determine whether a proposed merger would substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. Title II of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR Act) requires transacting parties, which exceed certain sizes, to report significant planned mergers and acquisitions to the FTC and DOJ so that the agencies may determine whether the proposed transactions raise anticompetitive concerns. If the FTC or DOJ determines that such concerns exist, the agencies may commence administrative or judicial proceedings to block the proposed transaction. Reviewing courts and administrative law judges consider a variety of factors when determining whether a proposed merged complies with federal antitrust laws. This report examines the primary statutes and processes that govern federal pre-merger review and merger challenges."
CRS Report for Congress, R44971
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html