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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


FTC Unanimously Votes For Broad Review of Prior Acquisitions in Digital Markets

12 February 2020

On February 11, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission issued "Special Orders" under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act (15 U.S. Code § 46) to Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, requiring them to provide information related to certain prior transactions. Specifically, the Special Orders focus on transactions consummated between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019, that were not subject to reporting requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. The Special Orders announced today are a continuation of the FTC's ongoing efforts to examine competitive concerns in digital markets. Importantly, though the purpose of the Special Orders is to "study" the non-reportable transactions, the FTC made clear that the information it receives could lead to enforcement actions if the FTC determines any of the acquisitions were anticompetitive.

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