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FTC “second request” merger reforms

Executive Summary

Reforms to the Federal Trade Commission's evaluation process for "second requests" in mergers & acquisition transactions are intended to expedite such inquiries and lower costs for the agency and companies involved. The reforms apply to all filings submitted on or after Feb. 17. Second requests are made when the agency seeks additional information about proposed transactions, and occur in about 5% of merger evaluations, FTC says; more than half of such requests resulted in antitrust enforcement action in 2005. Process reforms include limiting the number of employees required to provide information and narrowing time periods for which companies must provide documentation. While typical M&A request takes 30 days to clear, second requests currently take up to six-nine months, costing the agency millions of dollars, FTC says...

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