DAMITT 2016 Year in Review: Significant Antitrust Merger Investigations Longer Than Ever; Deal Agreements Reflect Expected Delays
According to the Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker (DAMITT), significant merger investigations concluded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during 2016 lasted an average of 9.9 months—a new record for the six years during which DAMITT has tracked the data. Significant merger investigations include Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act reportable transactions resulting in a closing statement, consent order, complaint challenging a transaction, or transaction abandonment for which the agencies take credit.
The 2016 record of 9.9 months is up only slightly from the 2015 average of 9.7 months, but is nearly 40% longer than the 7.1 month average recorded by DAMITT in each of 2011, 2012, and 2013. During 2016, relatively few significant investigations (6 out of 33) were shorter than this previous 7.1 month average. Overall, the median significant investigation lasted 9.7 months in 2016, slightly below the 9.9 month median in 2015, indicating that a smaller number of disproportionately longer investigations were responsible for driving up the average.