January 24, 2008

The FTC’s New HSR Filing Thresholds (and Recent Enforcement Actions)

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission – the agency charged with administering the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act – approved the new annual HSR Act notification thresholds, by nudging them up a little bit (see this chart). The new thresholds will be published in the Federal Register soon and will become effective 30 days after publication. We have posted a number of memos on this development in our “Antitrust” Practice Area.

In addition, antitrust enforcement agencies in both the U.S. and Europe announced enforcement actions at the end of 2007. Here is a description from Morrison & Foerster: “The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on December 19, 2007, announced it settled a federal district court action against ValueAct Capital Partners, L.P. for failure to file an HSR Act notification in connection with three earlier acquisitions by ValueAct. In settling the complaint, ValueAct agreed to pay civil penalty of $1.1 million. Also during December, the European Commission carried out “dawn raids” on two PVC manufacturers in the UK for violations of the prohibition on pre-clearance implementation of M&A transactions. This represents the first time that the European Commission has taken action against pre-clearance implementation activities since the 1990s, and the first time the Commission has ever used its dawn raid authority in connection with a suspected merger violation.”