October 25, 2016

Antitrust Cops Keep The Heat On M&A

This Dechert memo notes that the DOJ & FTC continue to take a hard look at antitrust issues in M&A – as a result, deals & lawsuits are taking longer to resolve.  Here are some highlights:

– In the first three quarters of 2016, there were 24 significant merger investigations, which is on pace to challenge the record of 37 set in 2015.
– Significant merger investigations through Q3 2016 lasted 9.7 months on average – on par with 2015, but more than one third longer than from 2011 to 2013.
– FTC & DOJ filed three complaints in Q3 2016 & a total of five complaints so far this year, also on pace to challenge 2015’s record level of seven complaints.
– Antitrust merger litigation is taking even longer, with 147 days between complaint and the start of trial and 27 days for trial, up 47% and 125%, respectively, from cases filed in 2015

Parties to the hypothetical average litigated transaction now have to plan on a 17 month fight for their deal – maybe more if current trends continue.

John Jenkins