Professor Muris Urges Panel to Streamline Merger Process

The congressionally-chartered Antitrust Modernization Committee (AMC) was advised to leaver merger law alone and focus on streamlining the government process at a recent hearing that included testimony by two former chairmen of the Federal Trade Commission (including Professor Timothy Muris), an antitrust professor, and a private firm lawyer, all "self-described 'graybeards' of the antitrust world." The four urged the AMC to leave details of how the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division revamp merger reviews to those agencies rather than allowing the changes to be decided by Congress.

Antitrust experts: Merger law OK, Daily Deal/The Deal, June 13, 2006. By Cecile Kohrs Lindell.

"'Nothing is going to happen until the alumni [of the agencies] push for an agreement,' Muris said Friday. He said former DOJ and FTC lawyers both complained that too many matters went to the other agency. That perspective needs to change, Muris said. 'At some point they have to see that it's more important that the review gets done than which agency does it.'

"Other than that, however, the AMC 'should emphasize the consensus' of legal theory about antitrust law. He said antitrust scholarship has led to generally accepted principles, which helps regulators and practitioners alike."