DOJ and FTC publish draft vertical merger guidelines

On Friday, 10 January 2020 the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, the agencies) announced the publication of draft vertical merger guidelines that describe how the agencies currently review vertical mergers to determine whether the deals violate the antitrust laws.

The draft vertical guidelines are intended to replace the DOJ's 1984 Non-Horizontal Merger Guidelines that have long been recognized as outdated. The updated draft vertical guidelines "are based on new economic understandings and the agencies' experience over the past several decades and better reflect the agencies' actual practice in evaluating proposed vertical mergers," according to Makan Delrahim, the head of the DOJ Antitrust Division.

Public comments on the draft vertical guidelines are due in 30 days, by 11 February 2020.

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