Antitrust And M&A: How Documents Can Derail Your Deal

Law360, New York (January 19, 2016, 11:05 AM EST) -- On the same day that the Federal Trade Commission sued to block Staples’ acquisition of Office Depot, General Electric withdrew from its agreement to sell its appliance unit to Electrolux due to a challenge from the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice. While pens and cooktop ranges have little in common, both deals fell victim to antitrust enforcement predicated in large part on the parties’ own documents and characterizations about their competitors and relative market positioning.

For example, in the Staples case, the parties' own documents noted that “‘[o]n a national scale, Office Depot’s competition is Staples.’ [And,] Staples...

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