Executive Summary Under the U.S. antitrust laws, enforcement agencies may block an M&A transaction only if they meet their burden to prove that the transaction’s “effect may be substantially to lessen competition.” 15 U.S.C. § 18. As courts have explained, this is a “totality-of-the-circumstances” inquiry, and they “weigh a variety of factors to determine the effects of particular transactions on competition” and “future competitiveness.” United States v. Baker Hughes Inc., 908 F.2d 981, 984 (D.C. Cir. 1990).In the modern era of antitrust law, one of these “variety of factors” has been the ability of a transaction to improve the performance of the combined entity, and thus to improve “future competitiveness” in the market. That is why the current Horizontal Merger Guidelines, as well as several prior iterations, explain: “a primary benefit of mergers to the economy is their potential to generat

Read More