On October 25, 2021, a deeply divided FTC voted 3-2 to enact a major policy change relevant to every party involved in settling a merger investigation with the FTC. Earlier this year, the FTC signaled its intent to bring back an old practice of mandatory prior approval and notice provisions in consent orders, a policy that was suspended over 25 years ago during the Clinton administration, and expand it in several ways. The new FTC policy means that parties settling a merger investigation with the FTC can expect (at minimum) a ten-year post-settlement period, during which the parties must seek the FTC's prior approval to pursue a transaction in a directly affected market (or even an indirectly affected market) from the transaction covered by the FTC order. The same prior approval
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