A Tempo of (Anti) Trust? Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Filings in 2020

Given the chilling effect of COVID on the business of eDiscovery in 2020, many individuals and organizations are interested in the impact of current pandemeconomic conditions on essential audit, investigation, and litigation drivers for legal discovery. One of those drivers is the need for eDiscovery support in FTC and DOJ Second Request investigations. As Second Requests are driven from HSR Act mandated merger transaction reviews, the following HSR Act filing information and comparisons may be helpful for understanding current trends and potential trajectories driving the need for Second Requests.

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Content Assessment: A Tempo of (Anti) Trust? HSR Act Filings in 2020

Information - 95%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 90%
Objectivity - 100%
Authority - 100%

96%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post highlighting real-time monthly HSR Act filing reporting by the FTC.

Editor’s Note: Taken from the latest published Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Premerger Notification monthly filings as shared by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the information and numbers represented in the following post and corresponding charts may be useful for law firms, legal departments, and legal services providers seeking to understand the real-time pulse rate of Hart-Scott-Rodino Act mandated merger transaction reviews. As these reviews may lead to Second Requests, the charts may also be useful as a baseline for considering provider assertions regarding the depth, breadth, and volume of their Second Request support for this unique type of eDiscovery during specific time frames.

Annual Results Augmented by Monthly Updates

As highlighted in the July 9, 2020, blog post from the FTC, increased interest in levels of M&A activity has warranted that the Bureau of Competition’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) share the monthly figures for Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act filings. Starting in July, the PNO began posting monthly totals of HSR Act filings for the most recent six-month period and committed to updating the numbers on a six-month rolling basis on the PNO homepage

While the Commission publicly reports monthly HSR transaction numbers in its Annual HSR Reports, those reports are prepared and published after the end of each fiscal year.

The PNO also noted that this effort would not change the regular process of adjusting the raw number of filings collected during the year in annual reporting to eliminate transactions that were not reportable, incomplete, withdrawn, or that relate to non-competitive notifications under the Act. As a result, the monthly data released may not match the monthly totals reported in the HSR Annual Report. 

Read the original blog post at Real-Time Transparency for HSR Transaction Numbers

Comparing the Operations Tempo for HSR Act Filings: Four Informational Charts

Provided for context and comparison are charts that share HSR Act related metrics for monthly filings based on real-time reporting in 2020 and annual reporting in 2019 and 2018. 

Chart 1: Monthly HSR Act Transactions Reported in the Fiscal Year 2020 (February – September)*

1 – HSR Act Merger Transactions Reported – 2020

Chart 2: Monthly HSR Act Transactions Reported in February Through September in 2018, 2019, and 2020

2 – HSR Act Merger Transactions Reported – Three Year Snapshot – February Through September

Chart 3: Monthly HSR Act Transactions Reported in the Fiscal Year 2019 (October – September)**

3 – HSR Act Merger Transactions Reported – 2019

Chart 4: Monthly HSR Act Transactions Reported in the Fiscal Year 2018 (October – September)**

4 – HSR Act Merger Transactions Reported – 2018

*Monthly Real-Time Reporting First Report is February 2020 (Monthly Running Report)

**Based on Monthly Reporting as Represented in Annual HSR Transaction Reports

Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery

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ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights cyber, data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding cyber, data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of cyber, data and legal discovery organizations. Focused primarily on supporting the ComplexDiscovery publication, the company is registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. The company operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

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