Public’s M&A Comments Hold Clues for Agency Guidelines

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The authors identify key areas of interest in comments that members of the public submitted to the FTC and DOJ.

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice issued a joint request for information (RFI) in January 2022 on how they should update their approach to merger enforcement. Similar to past RFIs, academics, attorneys, and other antitrust practitioners submitted detailed comments based on their experience and expertise in the field. In this case, the general public also expressed significant interest: The agencies received over 5,000 comments, compared to only 74 comments during the 2020 public comment period for the Vertical Merger Guidelines.

In this article, authors Andrew Sfekas, Bryan Pine, and Brian Lewis discuss their statistical analysis of the public comments, identifying topics of interest to those not involved in antitrust policy or litigation. The responses indicate that the general public supports stronger merger enforcement. However, the agencies may find it difficult to develop policy changes based on the public’s input.

This article was originally published by Law360 in October 2022.


The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.

Public’s M&A Comments Hold Clues for Agency Guidelines

Authors

  • Washington

Andrew Sfekas

Senior Manager

  • San Francisco

Bryan Pine

Manager

  • New York

Brian Lewis

Data Scientist