US New Merger Rules Could Add Months To Process

Proposed regulations for mergers and acquisitions could add months to the deals process.

That’s according to antitrust lawyer Kara Kuritz, who spoke with Seeking Alpha on Sunday (July 9) about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed revisions to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filing process. 

The revisions, the first in the process’s 45-year history, would make companies and investment firms submit additional information that the regulators hadn’t requested before.

Kuritz told the website that it typically takes a week or two to prepare an HSR filing, while the new rules could add months to that process.

Related: What substantive issues require fixing in the US merger control?

“The proposed rules would make it particularly difficult for large investment funds to comply,” said Kuritz, a one-time HSR Act specialist at the DOJ’s antitrust division. “I expect most of the additional time will be on the front end, before the filing ever can be submitted to the agencies.”

According to the report, the DOJ and FTC will ask companies about transaction rationale and details about investment vehicles or corporate relationships, and about products and services and details about things like supply agreements.

“Now the agencies are proposing that such information be provided in all reportable deals, so it imposes a significant burden for deals that are unlikely to raise any competition concerns,” Kuritz told Seeking Alpha.