On 18 December 2023, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued their highly anticipated final version of the 2023 Merger Guidelines . The issuance of the Guidelines follows the agencies’ release of draft guidelines in July and the conclusion of a public notice-and-comment period. The Guidelines set out how the agencies assess whether mergers and acquisitions threaten anticompetitive harm in violation of US antitrust laws.
Most notably, the newly issued Guidelines retained the lower thresholds for establishing presumptions of anticompetitive harm — including if the merger gives the combined firm more than 30% market share. Additionally, the Guidelines outline a holistic approach for analyzing vertical mergers.