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Business Articles Awards > Mergers

Becoming a Third-Party Witness When Competitors or Suppliers Merge

Steven J. Cernak, Today’s General counsel, APR/MAY 2017, Volume 14/Number 2

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To determine if a merger is good or bad for competition, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division need information about the merging parties and the relevant industries. That information comes through a Hart Scott Rodino Act (HSR) filing. Throughout this process, the reviewing agency will reach out to third parties – customers or competitors – for relevant information, usually via a voluntary phone interview with a knowledgeable executive.

Companies preparing to respond to enforcement requests for information should begin by answering three basic questions: Are we the witness the government really wants? Do we have the type of evidence the government wants to hear? And are we prepared to go wherever these inquiries lead?

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