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FTC and DOJ Approve Procedural Changes to HSR Form Instructions

The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has approved amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Rules and to the instructions for filling out the form that companies use to report a proposed merger, acquisition, or similar transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The Premerger Notification and Report Form (known also as the HSR Form) is designed to provide the FTC and the Antitrust Division of DOJ with the necessary information for an initial evaluation of the potential anticompetitive impact of proposed transactions.

The amendments simplify and clarify some language used in the Rules and the instructions, and they allow for the use of email in certain circumstances, such as in granting early termination. A notice in the Federal Register provides more information.

Enacted by Congress in 1976, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act gives the federal government the opportunity to investigate and challenge mergers that are likely to harm consumers before injury occurs. The Commission vote to authorize publication in the Federal Register final amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Rules Part 801-803 was 5-0. (FTC File No P859910; the staff contact is Nora Whitehead, 202-326-3262.)