February 14, 2020

Antitrust: FTC’s Tech Order Looks Like a Second Request on Steroids

At this point, I admit that it’s hard to shed any tears over Big Tech having to deal with the FTC’s decision to review a decade’s worth of their M&A deals that flew under the HSR Act’s radar. On the other hand, I do feel for any lawyers who have been charged with the responsibility of putting together the “special report” required by the FTC’s order.

This thing is nearly as daunting as an HSR second request, and it applies to 10 years worth of small deals!  To give you some idea of the size of the task confronting the poor souls who have to pull this information together, Facebook alone has done nearly 70 deals in the last decade. Amazon’s numbers are similar.  Alphabet’s done more than 150 deals during that same period, while Microsoft’s done more than 80, & Apple’s done nearly that many.  Some of their deals triggered HSR filings, but it appears that a whole lot of them didn’t.

The good news is that the FTC’s order give them all the way until April 20th to respond . . . Better you than me, gang. Better you than me.

John Jenkins