As part of their initiative to reevaluate both the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines and the 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines (collectively, “Merger Guidelines”), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are holding listening sessions to hear “from those who have experienced firsthand the effects of mergers and acquisitions beyond antitrust experts. . . .” The listening session on health care is scheduled for April 14, 2022.

Additionally, the FTC and DOJ extended until April 21, 2022, the deadline for public comments on their initiative to modernize the Merger Guidelines. Comments that have already been submitted can be reviewed here. While the comments submitted include some from antitrust experts, there are a number of comments from others that focus on health care issues. All of this is occurring when the FTC is still operating with only four Commissioners.

Of note, two of those Commissioners previously issued a statement commenting on the fact that much of the legal authority cited in the Request for Information on Merger Enforcement is “nearly or more than half a century old” and noting that proposed revisions to the Merger Guidelines “should be considered in light of antitrust jurisprudence and must reflect legal precedent.”

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