Guidance on vertical mergers got its first major overhaul from the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice in more than 35 years under new joint guidelines published June 30.
Vertical mergers are those that combine firms or assets at different stages of the same supply chain, such as healthcare company CVS Health’s acquisition of insurer Aetna. Previously proposed mergers like that of insurers Humana and Aetna would be considered horizontal.
FTC Chairman Joe Simon said in a news release that the new guidances “are an important step forward in maintaining vigorous antitrust enforcement, and reaffirm our commitment to challenge vertical mergers that are anticompetitive and would harm American consumers.”
Leaders said that the guidelines explain FTC and Justice Department investigative practices and will give the business community clarity about antitrust concerns, such as the type of evidence the FTC and Justice Department review and how they define markets.
To read the full guidelines, click here.