Federal agency streamlines merger investigations

Sources: Federal Trade Commission; CP staff

The Federal Trade Commission, one of two Washington, D.C., agencies overseeing mergers, is responding to Presidential directives aimed at eliminating what Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen calls “wasteful, legacy regulations and processes that have outlived their usefulness.”

“The FTC will continue to pursue the right answer for consumers, but we will work hard to get there as efficiently as we can,” she affirms. “We are focusing our resources where they will do the most good for the public … Improving efficiency and productivity never stops in the private sector, government should operate no differently.”

Among agency actions early in President Donald Trump’s administration, she cites:

• New groups within the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection are working to streamline demands for information in investigations to eliminate unnecessary costs to companies and individuals who receive them.

• Bureaus are reviewing their dockets and closing older investigations, where appropriate.

• Bureaus of Consumer Protection and Economics are working to integrate economic expertise earlier in investigations to better inform agency decisions about the consumer welfare effects of enforcement actions.