Misplaced Reliance on Outdated FTC Interpretation Results in $1.4 Million Civil Penalty Under HSR Act

July 08, 2009
The Department of Justice recently announced a $1.4 million settlement with noted investor John C. Malone relating to allegations that Mr. Malone had violated the notice and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. This update reviews the civil penalty action, which demonstrates the risks posed by relying on informal interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission Premerger Notification Office of the HSR rules without contemporaneous verification of those interpretations, or on escrow arrangements not specifically endorsed by that office.