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August 28, 2023

ABA Antitrust Law Section hosts D.C. session on new draft merger guidelines

CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2023 — The American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section will host a workshop on Sept. 6 in Washington, D.C., with top government officials and antitrust experts exploring new merger draft guidelines issued by the Biden administration this summer.

The New Merger Guidelines Workshop: Evolution or Revolution?
Sponsored by the ABA Antitrust Law Section

Wednesday, Sept. 6
(hybrid, all times EDT)

National Press Club

529 14th Street, NW, 13th floor
Washington, D.C. 20045

On July 19, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission released a draft update of 13 merger guidelines, which describe and guide the agencies’ review of mergers and acquisitions to determine compliance with federal antitrust laws. Their goal is to better reflect how the agencies determine a merger’s effect on competition and evaluate proposed mergers under the law. The agencies set a Sept. 18 deadline for comments.

The proposal represents the first major revision to the guidelines in 13 years. The workshop will bring together thought leaders, judges and enforcers to discuss the implications of these changes for antitrust law, M&A and global competition enforcement. The three main programs are:

  • “Enforcement Perspective” DOJ and FTC leaders explain how these new guidelines advance their goals and protect competition beyond what was covered in prior guidance. Speakers are Susan C. Athey, DOJ chief economist, Antitrust Division; Doha Mekki, DOJ principal deputy assistant attorney general; Antitrust Division; Aviv Nevo, director, FTC Bureau of Economics; and Rohan Pai, deputy assistant director, FTC Bureau of Competition.
    9:30 – 10:45 a.m. 
  • “Merger Counseling Under the New Guidelines” Former enforcers, in-house counsel, experienced M&A attorneys and economists evaluate the draft guidelines and how they differ from the 2010 horizontal merger guidelines. Speakers are Elizabeth Bailey, Charles River Associates, Oakland, California; Jillian E. Charles, vice president & general counsel, Antitrust & Anticorruption, Honeywell, Charlotte, North Carolina; Howard Shelanski, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Washington, D.C.; and Meghan Rissmiller, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Washington, D.C..
    11 a.m.– 12:15 p.m.
  • “Merger Litigation Under the New Guidelines” — A panel of judges, trial lawyers and expert witnesses discuss their expectations for how the new merger guidelines will influence litigation strategies and outcomes, including which changes will most directly challenge existing case law. Speakers are Tara L. Reinhart, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Washington, D.C.; Judge Ana C. Reyes, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Dov Rothman, Analysis Group, Boston.
    1-2:15 p.m.

The complete agenda is here.The “The New Merger Guidelines Workshop: Evolution or Revolution?” is open to the media, but reporters are required to register in advance by 5 p.m. EDT time, Friday, Sept. 1 by contacting Bill Choyke at [email protected].

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