Increased interest in levels of M&A activity resulted in the Bureau of Competition’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) publishing monthly figures for Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act transactions. The latest monthly update from the PNO is for October 2021 (FY 2022) and noted 443 reported transactions. This is the highest number of monthly reported transactions in any month of October between FY 2010 and FY 2022. It is also the highest number of reported transactions in any month since October 2010.
According to the recently published report, fiscal year 2020 was an especially challenging year as the global pandemic required adjustments to regular workflows at the agencies. After closing the physical offices where HSR filings are submitted, the agencies pivoted to telework and on March 18, 2020, started receiving HSR filings through an online portal for electronic document submission for the first time. From March 18, 2020, this ad hoc system has worked well even in the face of a significant surge in filings: as of September 10, 2021, the agencies had received over 8,000 electronic HSR filings, representing over 4,000 transactions. In fiscal year 2020, 1,637 transactions were reported under the HSR Act, representing about a 21.6 percent decrease from the 2,089 transactions reported in fiscal year 2019.
According to Smarsh CEO Brian Cramer, “Solving the sophisticated archiving, compliance and eDiscovery needs of the largest regulated multi-national companies requires scale, flexibility and support infrastructure. This acquisition partners two experienced leaders, both with a proven track record of supporting our respective customers.”
According to Scott Weisman, chief operating officer of LaunchPad Lab and co-founder of WarRoom, “Nextpoint has always been a leader in the eDiscovery and litigation software space, so we’re excited to continue shaping the future of legal technology with their team. We look forward to working with them to bring additional enhancements for lawyers around the world.”
According to Andy Macdonald, CEO of Consilio, “Consilio’s acquisition of D4 and EQ is a significant advance in the breadth of our U.S. and International data operations. This acquisition milestone significantly bolsters Consilio’s document review, legal process outsourcing, and Cyber Incident Response resources and unlocks new growth and development opportunities from which our employees and multinational client base will benefit.”
According to Cellebrite CEO Yossi Carmil, “We are pleased to announce this acquisition, an important step in executing against our vision of building a leading end-to-end investigative Digital Intelligence platform. Open-source intelligence capabilities provide law enforcement agencies with critical tools to capitalize on those crucial early hours of an investigation. The team at Digital Clues has built up a strong reputation in this space and we look forward to welcoming them into the Cellebrite family.”
According to Ian Campbell, CEO of iCONECT, “Direct access to the source code enhances our ability to create innovative synergies which include artificial intelligence assisting companies to incorporate AI as a standard component of their eDiscovery workflow. At iCONECT we are always focused on looking over the horizon and this transaction is definitely a game-changer for the industry.”
Increased interest in levels of M&A activity resulted in the Bureau of Competition’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) publishing of monthly figures for Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act transactions. The latest monthly update from the PNO is for September 2021 and noted 359 reported transactions. This is the highest number of monthly reported transactions in any month of September between FY 2010 and FY 2021. It is also the third highest number of reported transactions in any month since October 2010.
From Ipro and Disco to Nuix and Lighthouse, the following findings, data points, and tracking charts highlight information that may be useful for understanding M&A+I activity patterns in the eDiscovery ecosystem from July 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. During 3Q21 there were at least 14 M&A+I events, a pulse rate that is the same as the investment pulse rate during the same time frame in 2020.
Given the recent surge in merger filings and the Commission’s obligation to protect Americans from illegal transactions, the Bureau of Competition is instituting new process reforms to best to use its limited resources. One of those reforms is that FTC second requests will now require each company under investigation to provide information about how it intends to use eDiscovery tools before it applies those tools to identify responsive materials. Complete and accurate information is critical in any investigation and there are substantial benefits to ensuring up front that eDiscovery processes will identify required information. In addition, this change will more closely align the FTC’s model second request with that of the Department of Justice.