The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, “Agencies”) released the final version of the Vertical Merger Guidelines (“Vertical Guidelines”) on June 30, 2020. The new Vertical Guidelines, which had not been updated in more than 35 years, outline how the Agencies will evaluate whether vertical mergers violate the federal antitrust laws. The Vertical Guidelines mark the latest evolution of the Agencies’ thinking on vertical mergers, reflecting increased skepticism about a presumption that vertical mergers are generally procompetitive, and identifying competitive concerns that can arise in deals that have not traditionally been considered “vertical.” Over the past few years, regulators and politicians have questioned long-standing beliefs that

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