Antitrust M&A Snapshot | Q3 2021

In the US, the US Division of Justice’s (DOJ) problem of American Airways and JetBlue’s “Northeast Alliance” after the three way partnership’s approval by the US Division of Transportation earlier this 12 months demonstrates the Biden administration’s dedication to aggressive antitrust enforcement. US President Joe Biden issued an Govt Order calling for more durable antitrust enforcement, together with “encouraging” the DOJ and Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) to change the horizontal and vertical merger pointers to deal with rising consolidation. On the identical time, the FTC, underneath Chair Lina Khan, continues its speedy tempo of change to the merger assessment course of.

Underneath a brand new interpretation of Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), the European Fee (Fee) asserted jurisdiction over Illumina’s acquisition of GRAIL and Fb’s acquisition of Kustomer, regardless that the transactions didn’t meet the Fee or Member State submitting thresholds. The EU Basic Court docket confirmed a big gun-jumping high-quality imposed on Altice for breach of the EUMR notification and standstill obligations.

In the UK, the UK authorities printed plans to replace antitrust guidelines, together with revising its jurisdictional thresholds and increasing the “share of provide” check to permit the CMA to extra simply seize vertical and conglomerate mergers, in addition to acquisitions of startups. And the Competitors & Markets Authority’s (CMA) dealing with of the Veolia/Suez transaction demonstrates the CMA’s willingness to have interaction with events to hunt sensible interim options whereas it’s investigating a consummated transaction for potential antitrust issues.

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