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U.S. FTC to vote on rescinding policy nixing 'prior approval' remedies

Published 07/12/2021, 01:57 PM
Updated 07/12/2021, 02:30 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Monday it will vote July 21 on whether to rescind a 1995 policy statement regarding “prior approval” and “prior notice” remedies in merger cases.

The FTC said in 1995 it would no longer require prior approval of certain future acquisitions in such orders as a routine matter.

But the FTC's commissioner at that time, Mary Azcuenaga, objected to the agency's decision to abandon the longstanding policy. She noted that the "prior approval requirement is imposed only on firms that have attempted unlawful acquisitions" and argued it was "less costly than a new investigation of a proposed transaction and a second challenge under the law."

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Separately, the FTC will vote on a proposed policy statement on repair restrictions imposed by manufacturers and sellers after the FTC in May issued a report on "Right to Repair" issues that impact mobile phones, home appliances, cars, farm equipment and many other consumer products.

President Joe Biden, in an executive signed on Friday that is designed to boost competition, singled out repair restrictions that bar farmers from being able to make software-related repairs to tractors as an issue the FTC should address.

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