Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association told the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice that the current merger guidelines provide clear practical guidance on when a transaction is likely to raise competition concerns, and that creating sector specific rules would lead to more confusion for companies and courts. The comments filed today come in response to a request from the FTC and DOJ for feedback on whether the current merger guidelines are transparent and clear enough to companies considering mergers and acquisitions or they need rewriting.
CCIA also pointed out that the perception that tech companies’ M&A activity has led to a concentration of transactions in digital markets that is higher than transactions in other industries is not accurate, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s study from January 2022. The comments also noted another study that found that the top 25 tech companies accounted for 2.9 percent of completed acquisitions between 2010 and 2020.
CCIA, an international not for profit tech trade association, has advocated for competition in the tech industry for 50 years.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“As companies alter lines of business and business models to compete, merger guidelines need to apply across the board to all industries. Trying to create a different set of guidelines or rules for specific companies or sectors doesn’t make good legal or economic sense.”
The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President of Global Competition and Regulatory Policy Krisztian Katona:
“It is important to periodically review and reexamine the merger review rules to make sure they reflect current practices, market realities, and economic learning. But in short, our answer is that the current rules could benefit from a refresh – not a rewrite. The current guidelines are clear, flexible, and adaptable to 21st century business models. “