U.S. deal watchdog takes liberties

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NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Holly Vedova, head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, has turn out to be crucial blogger within the M&A world. A sequence of posts in September on her “Competition Matters” web site sketch out an expansive imaginative and prescient of the FTC’s powers. If concept turns into motion, it alerts a significant new danger for acquirers.

The most illustrative of those posts is slim in its instance, focusing particularly on gasoline companies that publicize costs. Posting costs permits neighboring shops to collude even when they aren’t owned by the identical store, she says. Competition could be manipulated, and so she means that sure treatments in offers must go “beyond the overlapping product and geographic markets” which might be straight affected by a transaction.

Crucially, Vedova leaves open the likelihood that this remedy might prolong to different sectors. In addition to the FTC turning into an ever-tighter bottleneck for dealmaking , it is a main departure from precedent that might see the company transfer in direction of greater and extra materials asks from acquirers in return for successful approval for offers. Eventually, closing a transaction is likely to be extra hassle than it’s price . (By Jonathan Guilford)

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Editing by Lauren Silva Laughlin and Amanda Gomez

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Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly