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DAMITT Q3 2016 Update: No Let Up in Antitrust Merger Investigation Activity or the Duration of Merger Investigations; Antitrust Merger Litigation Stretching Out

Paul T. Denis et al., Dechert, October 2016

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According to the Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker (DAMITT), significant merger investigations concluded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during the first three quarters of 2016 lasted an average of 9.7 months, identical to those concluded during CY2015. Significant merger investigations include Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act reportable transactions resulting in a closing statement, consent order, complaint challenging a transaction, or transaction abandonment for which the agencies take credit. Although the duration of significant investigations appears to have stabilized, the 9.7 month average recorded during the first three quarters of 2016 is more than one-third longer than the 7.1 month average recorded by DAMITT in each of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 calendar years. Quarterly data suggest that investigations of nine or more months have been the norm for the last eight quarters. The trend toward lengthier significant merger investigations first identified by DAMITT in 2015 is now a steady state.

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