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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2019 12:07 PM
From: Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
To: All House members
Subject: A Resolution urging the Congress of the United States to study and take action to ensure the effectiveness of the merger review process and the Premerger Notification Program to foster fair market competition and prevent anticompetitive, monopolistic merges.
A fair and competitive marketplace, free from monopolies, strengthens our economy and insulates the public from damage caused when large companies and mergers fail. In recent decades, the American economy has seen an influx of high-profile and potentially troublesome mergers in a variety of industries and sectors of the economy, including the telecommunication, pharmaceutical, banking, and insurance industries. Because it is crucial to our economy that steps are taken to ensure mergers causing anti-competitive markets are blocked, I will be introducing a resolution urging the United States Congress to assess the effectiveness of the current merger review process.

The Premerger Notification Program was established under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 to prevent large companies from substantially lessening market competition or creating a monopoly. Under the current provisions of this program, it only takes between 15 and 30 days for the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of Justice to review initial proposals and acquisitions for mergers. The FTC and USDOJ can take legal action to block a merger in the interest of the economy. However, during this initial review period, more than 95% of all proposals get approved. Based on this data, it is clear that 15-30 days is an insufficient amount of time to estimate the anti-competitive effects the proposed merger could have on the economy, and the detrimental effects should the merger fail. Additionally, there must be an accountability program in place to ensure that all mergers are properly evaluated, and to ensure the Premerger Notification Program is properly implemented and protecting our economy.

Furthermore, because there has not been significant reform to this program since 2006, this resolution and the actions it encourages are necessary to begin to evaluate the Premerger Notification Program’s effectiveness in order to adapt to current legal and technological standards. Therefore, I ask my fellow colleagues to please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.