On October 10 2010 the Federal Trade Commission published statistics on pre-merger filings for the 2009 fiscal year.

The statistics show a dramatic decline in the number of filings when compared with 2008, coupled with an increase in both the percentage of transactions subject to an extended inquiry and the percentage of transactions ultimately challenged by the agency.

Although this data might indicate a more aggressive agency posture under new leadership, the evidence may be inconclusive. First, the challenge rate is still so low (2.6% or 19 transactions challenged out of 716 reported) that a few atypical transactions could tilt the result. In addition, it is not surprising that staff would exercise closer scrutiny in a period when they have far fewer deals to review.

For further information on this topic please contact Thomas B Leary at Hogan Lovells US LLP' by telephone (+1 202 637 6440), fax (+1 202 637 5910) or email (thomas.leary@hoganlovells.com).

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