January 21, 2022
On January 18, 2022, Chair Lina Khan of the Federal Trade Commission, and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, launched a joint public inquiry aimed at modernizing both the horizontal and vertical merger guidelines. As part of this effort, the agencies are soliciting comments from the public, including "market participants, government entities, economists, attorneys, academics, unions, employees, farmers, workers, businesses, franchisees and consumers . . . ." The comment period is open for 60 days, requiring all comments to be received no later than March 21, 2022. It will likely be approximately one year before a final version of any new guidelines are published. But, the announcement and request for information provide useful insight into some of the issues and new theories of harm the DOJ and FTC are already considering when reviewing transactions.