International Merger Guidelines Issued
WASHINGTON, DC - Antitrust officials from about 50 countries including the US have worked out voluntary guidelines for cross-border merger notifications, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ described the four new recommended practices adopted by the International Competition Network (ICN) at its most recent conference in Merida, Mexico.
One recommendation says that reviews of pending merger transactions should be accomplished "within a reasonable time period." Another says that laws controlling mergers should be enforced transparently and that governments to review their
merger-control policies periodically to compare those policies with best practices.
The recommendations also suggest requirements for initial notifications by companies that are proposing mergers.
In addition, the officials discussed ways of assisting new antitrust agencies in developing countries.
"Adoption of these practices, based upon sound antitrust enforcement ideals, are important steps toward streamlining multi-jurisdictional merger review, and global antitrust convergence generally," said R. Hewitt Pate, the US Assistant Attorney General who headed the US delegation to the conference.
Representatives of antitrust agencies were joined at the conference by approximately 60 non-governmental advisors, including representatives of international organizations, antitrust practitioners, economists, representatives of industry and consumer associations, and members of the academic community.
The ICN was launched in October, 2001 by the DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission, and 13 foreign antitrust agencies to provide a venue where senior antitrust officials from developed and developing countries work to reach consensus on proposals for procedural and substantive convergence in antitrust enforcement.
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