May 18, 2016

FTC Records Two Wins as Staples-Office Depot Merger Abandoned for a Second Time

On May 10, Staples and Office Depot announced that they would be terminating their $6.3 billion merger in the wake of a federal judge’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the deal. This represents the second time in less than two decades that the companies abandoned their plans after the FTC raised antitrust concerns, successfully halting their attempt to consolidate.

Categories: US Mergers


April 6, 2016

Activism (Re)Defined: DOJ Files Complaint Against ValueAct for Alleged HSR Act Violation

On April 4, 2016, the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil antitrust suit against activist investor ValueAct Capital seeking at least $19 million of civil penalties for ValueAct’s alleged violation of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. § 18a (“the HSR Act”).

Categories: US Enforcement, US Mergers


March 14, 2016

The EU Commission Should Provide Concrete Reasons for Requesting Information

The statement of reasons of a decision requesting information from a company must be appropriate and disclose the purpose of the request so that the company can provide the Commission with the information necessary to that purpose. Information request decisions shall require only information which may assist the Commission in investigating its suspicions of infringement. The Court of Justice ruled on 10 March 2016 that, as a result, when sending information request decisions to companies the Commission is obliged to substantiate its statement of reasons with a clear indication of the products or services under investigation and its suspicions of infringement. The decision’s addressees must be in a position to clearly and unequivocally understand the reasoning followed by the Commission to assess the necessity of the information in relation to the purpose of the information request. The requirement to state “the purpose of the request” will prevent the Commission from relying on requests for information to get disproportionate—and likely irrelevant—amounts of information and guarantee—in that regard—the respect of the rights of defense of the addressees of the information request decisions.

Categories: EU Enforcement