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Vertical Deals Face More Intense Scrutiny Amid FTC Push

March 19, 2019, 10:31 AM

The Federal Trade Commission’s Democratic commissioners are pressing for more aggressive scrutiny of mergers involving non-direct competitors.

Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, the two Democrats in the Republican-controlled panel, are joining competition advocates and lawmakers who are increasingly skeptical of “vertical” mergers, in which a company buys another in its supply chain. Their calls for changes come as the agency considers updating some of its decades-old antitrust approaches that critics say have been too lenient toward deals.

As minority members in the five-member commission, Chopra and Slaughter are, without Republican support, largely powerless to dramatically change the course of the...

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