In September 2021, the five-member Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to withdraw its support for the Vertical Merger Guidelines  (“Guidelines”) and related FTC commentary on vertical merger enforcement.  At the same time—indeed, only hours later on the same day—the acting head of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice issued a statement indicating that the Guidelines “remain in place” at the DOJ while the agency conducts a “careful review” of its process for making enforcement decisions.  What a difference a year makes. The Guidelines had been jointly adopted by the FTC and the DOJ in mid-2020, marking the first revision in more than 35 years and following the DOJ’s failed attempt to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.  At that time,
The US FTC withdraws its new vertical merger guidelines after just a year
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