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DOJ, FTC Merger Clearance Plan Off

DOJ, FTC Merger Clearance Plan Off

The Bush Administration plan to formally divide up antitrust review of proposed mergers between the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission is in limbo. Senate Commerce Chairman Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., didn’t approve of the plan and said his staff was not consulted about it. Media mergers would have fallen under DOJ’s purview for part of the antitrust review, while the FCC would still review the deals to make sure they meet ownership limits and serve the public interest.
Hollings’ committee has the ability to affect the budgets of the agencies, and threatened to do so, which is reportedly why the plan was dropped.
The DOJ and FTC supported the division of work as being more effective and reducing disputes over agency jurisdiction.