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Increased Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Thresholds, Penalties and Recent Enforcement Actions

January 14, 2009

By J. Hart Holden

The annual increase of jurisdictional and filing fee thresholds under the HartScottRodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act), have been announced by the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC). The revised thresholds will become effective on February 12, 2009, and will apply to all covered transactions that close on or after that date.

The FTC has also raised the monetary penalty for HSR Act violations from $11,000 to $16,000 per day. In recent years the FTC has brought a number of civil penalty enforcement actions against violators of the HSR reporting requirements (including two this past December), entailing already significant fines (that have now gone up substantially).