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Merger Filers Beware: Department of Justice Challenges a Transaction That Cleared Hart-Scott-Rodino

William Blumenthal et al., Sidley Austin Antitrust/Competition Update, October 10, 2017

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At the end of September, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit challenging a transaction that had previously passed through the merger review process set out in the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act.1 This suit provides a stark reminder that the fact that a transaction clears the merger review process does not mean it is safe from future government (or private) challenge. Although challenges to “cleared” transactions are unusual, they are permissible under the statute, and this case provides some useful reminders to parties considering strategic transactions that may raise serious antitrust concerns.

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