U.S. FTC to restrict future deals for firms that pursue ‘anticompetitive mergers’

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

-The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Monday it was restoring its practice of requiring companies that previously pursued an anticompetitive deal to get prior approval for certain future transactions, even very small ones.

The FTC said in a statement that it had already put this policy in place for dialysis company DaVita Inc following the company’s purchase of the University of Utah Health’s dialysis clinics.

Going forward, the policy would be in effect for any company that wins deal approval through a divestiture, the FTC said in a statement. The policy includes deals that normally would be too small to be reported to antitrust enforcers. Companies that abandon a transaction are less likely to face the restriction, the agency said.

“The FTC should not have to waste valuable time and resources investigating clearly anticompetitive deals that should have died in the board room,” said Holly Vedova, director of the Bureau of Competition.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington, Kanishka Singh in BengaluruEditing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)