FTC Approves Three Omnibus Resolutions, Eliminates Barriers to Pursuing Investigations

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission recently approved three omnibus resolutions authorizing compulsory processes in investigations involving collusive practicesmergers, acquisitions, and transactions, and the car rental industry.

The omnibus resolutions in these three areas will eliminate the need for FTC staff to seek compulsory process in each related case. Not individually authorizing compulsory process in each matter removes an unnecessary and time-consuming barrier to staff’s pursuit of an investigation.

  • The omnibus resolution governing potentially unlawful collusive and coordinated conduct will allow FTC staff to more quickly and efficiently obtain evidence in connection with investigations involving competitors working together in an anti-competitive fashion. There is rising concern that the recent inflationary increase in prices may be giving companies cover to collude against the public interest.
  • The omnibus resolution governing proposed mergers, acquisitions, and transactions approved today will allow for quick investigations of all mergers, including those that fall below the value thresholds that require reporting to the antitrust agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR). The Commission’s 6(b) study on non-HSR-reported acquisitions by technology companies highlighted how some of the largest firms in our economy have made hundreds of acquisitions that are not being reported to the FTC or DOJ.
  • The omnibus resolution relating to car rentals will allow staff to investigate unfair and deceptive practices in that industry.

The Commission vote approving the omnibus resolution governing potentially unlawful collusive and coordinated conduct, and the omnibus resolution governing proposed mergers, acquisitions, and transactions was 3-2, with Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voting no and issuing a separate dissenting statement.

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The Commission vote approving the omnibus resolution relating to car rentals was 3-2, with Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voting no.

The Commission vote to make all three omnibus resolutions public was 5-0. Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya issued a separate statement, in which he was joined by Chair Lina M. Khan and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter.

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