The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice today released their annual antitrust report, showing a slight decline in the number of mergers reviewed by the government last year but a jump in enforcement actions by the FTC.
In fiscal year 2012, the agencies received a total of 1,429 merger filings, a 1.4 percent drop compared to 2011, when there were 1,450 reportable mergers. Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, companies in 2012 were required to notify the government of deals worth more than $68.2 million prior to closing the transaction (the threshold was raised to $70.9 million in 2013).
The agencies issued fewer second requests for information in fiscal 2012, flagging 49 mergers for further investigation. That’s an 11 percent decline from 2011, when the agencies took a closer look at 55 deals. The FTC last year issued second requests in 20 mergers, and DOJ flagged 29, compared to 24 and 31 respectively the year before.