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Soft law > Mergers

The FTC’S Merger Remedies 2006-2012: A Report of the Bureaus of the of Competition and Economics

US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Staff Report, January 2017

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Recognizing that the efficacy of its remedies is critical to its antitrust mission, the Commission conducted a broad study of all of its merger orders from 2006 through 2012. This study expanded on the divestiture study the FTC completed in 1999.

The study examined 89 merger orders issued by the Commission between 2006 and 2012, including those requiring divestitures, as well as non-structural relief, to address anticompetitive effects. Staff used three methods to conduct the study. First, staff examined 50 orders using a case study method similar to that used in the Commission’s previous remedy study, issued in 1999. Staff then supplemented its findings by interviewing additional market participants and requiring significant competitors to submit seven years of relevant sales data. Second, staff evaluated an additional 15 orders affecting supermarkets, drug stores, funeral homes, dialysis clinics, and other health care facilities by examining responses to questionnaires directed to the Commission-approved divestiture buyers in the relevant transactions. Finally, staff evaluated 24 orders affecting the pharmaceutical industry using both internal information and publicly available data.

The study confirmed that the process by which the Commission designs and implements merger remedies is generally effective, but also identified certain areas the Commission could improve. Based on those findings, the FTC has developed best practices related to the merger remedy process and provides best practices reflecting the learning of the study.