Vertical Merger Guidelines Overlook Health Care Co. Issues

Law360 (August 12, 2020, 4:23 PM EDT) -- With the vertical merger guidelines released on June 30, the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission offer expanded guidance on an important and wide-ranging set of business combinations.[1]

In particular, the guidelines illustrate how competitive harm and pro-competitive benefits may occur from mergers between firms at different stages of the same supply chain, at different stages of competing supply chains, or that produce complementary products.

Though comprehensive in scope, the guidelines lack specificity that would be helpful in analyzing many nonhorizontal mergers. For instance, the guidelines do not consider how information asymmetries, distorted incentives, a reliance on platforms and...

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