U.S. Department of Justice Litigates to Block Two Mergers

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has blocked two mergers in the past several months, in each case after filing a lawsuit against the merging parties.  The first case involved a relatively small transaction in the digital tax business involving H&R Block and 2nd Story Software. The second case was the high-profile proposed acquisition by AT&T of rival wireless telephone carrier T-Mobile USA.  These cases illustrate an uptick in U.S. merger enforcement and an increased willingness on the part of the DOJ to challenge mergers in court.  They also illustrate a  resistance on the part of DOJ to accepting concessions proposed by parties seeking to obtain clearance of horizontal mergers.

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