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THE LATEST: FTC’s New “Technology Task Force” Has Broad Mandate Including Review of Consummated Transactions

The US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Competition announced the launch of a new Technology Task Force that will investigate anticompetitive conduct, review past transactions, as well as contribute to pending merger reviews. The FTC’s investigation of consummated transactions will not be limited to large transactions that meet the HSR filing thresholds, but will also include so-called “non-reportable” transactions. The launch of this task force along with the ongoing FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century is further evidence of US antitrust enforcers’ increasing focus on the technology sector. WHAT HAPPENED: On February 26, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition announced the creation of a Technology Task Force dedicated to monitoring competition in US technology markets. The mandate is expansive allowing for investigations of anticompetitive conduct, mergers and industry practices. Importantly, the task force is not only...

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THE LATEST: DOJ Continues Its Intense Focus on Decree Compliance

WHAT HAPPENED In March, we discussed the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division’s move to update its standard consent decree language to enhance decree enforceability. Among other things, the changes: Reduced the burden of proof for DOJ to demonstrate a decree violation in court, and Shifted DOJ’s attorney’s fees to the losing party in the event that a decree enforcement action became necessary. Now, DOJ Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim has further intensified the Division’s compliance focus by announcing the creation of an Office of Decree Enforcement at the Division (Office). The Office would have “the sole goal to ensure compliance with, and enforcement of, [Antitrust Division] decrees.” Currently, the DOJ does not have a centralized organization dedicated to this function, and the merger review units within the DOJ are responsible for enforcing the orders in cases they bring. AAG Delrahim has stated that further...

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