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AHA asks FTC to scrap proposed changes to premerger rules

The American Hospital Association wants the Federal Trade Commission to pull its proposed changes to premerger notifications under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which requires organizations to report large transactions to the FTC and Justice Department for antitrust review.

The HSR Act and its implementing rules related to mergers and acquisitions involve completing HSR Forms and waiting a specified period of time before completing the transaction.

The proposed changes to the HSR for mergers and acquisitions would impose a significant burden on filing parties, "yet are largely unnecessary to screen transactions for closer review," the AHA wrote in a Sept. 5 letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. "The amended rules would require filing parties to submit more information than the agencies could feasibly review in 30 days."  

"At best, this is an improvident use of staff and taxpayer dollars; at worst, it is an arbitrary and capricious regulation for which the costs vastly outweigh the benefits," the AHA wrote. 

The FTC argues that the proposed HSR changes would help screen transactions for potential competition issues within the waiting period, which is generally 30 days. The FTC said that this competition review is important to identify deals that require in-depth investigations to determine whether they would violate antitrust laws and, if so, to seek to block the proposed transaction.

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