January 17, 2020

DOJ and FTC Publish Draft Guidance For Comment Concerning Vertical Mergers

On January 10, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and the FTC published draft guidelines for the first time in 36 years concerning the analysis of vertical mergers. Vertical mergers combine two or more companies that operate at different levels in the same supply chain, potentially lowering costs and increasing market control. The draft guidelines provide insight into the framework that regulators would consider when evaluating vertical mergers “and are intended to assist the business community and antitrust practitioners by providing transparency about the agencies’ antitrust enforcement policy with respect to vertical mergers.” Two recent vertical merger deals, the merger of CVS Health with Aetna, as well as the merger of Cigna with Express Scripts, have placed heightened focus on vertical mergers in the healthcare space. The draft guidelines are open for public comment until February 11, 2020.