Vertical Merger Guidelines Give Enforcers Plenty Of Leeway

By Bryan Koenig (January 14, 2020, 8:43 PM EST) -- The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission's proposed new vertical merger guidelines released last week provide antitrust attorneys some direction, without going so far as to undercut the agencies' discretion.

In nine pages that drew dissent from the FTC's Democratic minority, the agencies proposed the first tweak to the so-called non-horizontal merger guidelines since 1984. The proposed revisions were long awaited by the antitrust bar, which has been clamoring for additional guidance on regulators' views on tie-ups between companies that aren't direct competitors but rather occupy different spots on the supply chain.

But the new proposals are not so...

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