15 U.S. Code § 18a - Premerger notification and waiting period

(a) Filing
Except as exempted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, no person shall acquire, directly or indirectly, any voting securities or assets of any other person, unless both persons (or in the case of a tender offer, the acquiring person) file notification pursuant to rules under subsection (d)(1) of this section and the waiting period described in subsection (b)(1) of this section has expired, if—
(1) the acquiring person, or the person whose voting securities or assets are being acquired, is engaged in commerce or in any activity affecting commerce; and
(2) as a result of such acquisition, the acquiring person would hold an aggregate total amount of the voting securities and assets of the acquired person—
(A) in excess of $200,000,000 (as adjusted and published for each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2004, in the same manner as provided in section 19 (a)(5) of this title to reflect the percentage change in the gross national product for such fiscal year compared to the gross national product for the year ending September 30, 2003); or
(B)
(i) in excess of $50,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) but not in excess of $200,000,000 (as so adjusted and published); and
(ii)
(I) any voting securities or assets of a person engaged in manufacturing which has annual net sales or total assets of $10,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more are being acquired by any person which has total assets or annual net sales of $100,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more;
(II) any voting securities or assets of a person not engaged in manufacturing which has total assets of $10,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more are being acquired by any person which has total assets or annual net sales of $100,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more; or
(III) any voting securities or assets of a person with annual net sales or total assets of $100,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more are being acquired by any person with total assets or annual net sales of $10,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) or more.
In the case of a tender offer, the person whose voting securities are sought to be acquired by a person required to file notification under this subsection shall file notification pursuant to rules under subsection (d) of this section.
(b) Waiting period; publication; voting securities
(1) The waiting period required under subsection (a) of this section shall—
(A) begin on the date of the receipt by the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (hereinafter referred to in this section as the “Assistant Attorney General”) of—
(i) the completed notification required under subsection (a) of this section, or
(ii) if such notification is not completed, the notification to the extent completed and a statement of the reasons for such noncompliance,
from both persons, or, in the case of a tender offer, the acquiring person; and
(B) end on the thirtieth day after the date of such receipt (or in the case of a cash tender offer, the fifteenth day), or on such later date as may be set under subsection (e)(2) or (g)(2) of this section.
(2) The Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General may, in individual cases, terminate the waiting period specified in paragraph (1) and allow any person to proceed with any acquisition subject to this section, and promptly shall cause to be published in the Federal Register a notice that neither intends to take any action within such period with respect to such acquisition.
(3) As used in this section—
(A) The term “voting securities” means any securities which at present or upon conversion entitle the owner or holder thereof to vote for the election of directors of the issuer or, with respect to unincorporated issuers, persons exercising similar functions.
(B) The amount or percentage of voting securities or assets of a person which are acquired or held by another person shall be determined by aggregating the amount or percentage of such voting securities or assets held or acquired by such other person and each affiliate thereof.
(c) Exempt transactions
The following classes of transactions are exempt from the requirements of this section—
(1) acquisitions of goods or realty transferred in the ordinary course of business;
(2) acquisitions of bonds, mortgages, deeds of trust, or other obligations which are not voting securities;
(3) acquisitions of voting securities of an issuer at least 50 per centum of the voting securities of which are owned by the acquiring person prior to such acquisition;
(4) transfers to or from a Federal agency or a State or political subdivision thereof;
(5) transactions specifically exempted from the antitrust laws by Federal statute;
(6) transactions specifically exempted from the antitrust laws by Federal statute if approved by a Federal agency, if copies of all information and documentary material filed with such agency are contemporaneously filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General;
(7) transactions which require agency approval under section 1467a(e) oftitle 12, section 1828 (c) of title 12, or section 1842 of title 12, except that a portion of a transaction is not exempt under this paragraph if such portion of the transaction
(A) is subject to section 1843 (k) of title 12; and
(B) does not require agency approval under section 1842 of title 12;
(8) transactions which require agency approval under section 1843 of title 12 or section 1464 of title 12, if copies of all information and documentary material filed with any such agency are contemporaneously filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General at least 30 days prior to consummation of the proposed transaction, except that a portion of a transaction is not exempt under this paragraph if such portion of the transaction
(A) is subject to section 1843 (k) of title 12; and
(B) does not require agency approval under section 1843 of title 12;
(9) acquisitions, solely for the purpose of investment, of voting securities, if, as a result of such acquisition, the securities acquired or held do not exceed 10 per centum of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer;
(10) acquisitions of voting securities, if, as a result of such acquisition, the voting securities acquired do not increase, directly or indirectly, the acquiring person’s per centum share of outstanding voting securities of the issuer;
(11) acquisitions, solely for the purpose of investment, by any bank, banking association, trust company, investment company, or insurance company, of
(A) voting securities pursuant to a plan of reorganization or dissolution; or
(B) assets in the ordinary course of its business; and
(12) such other acquisitions, transfers, or transactions, as may be exempted under subsection (d)(2)(B) of this section.
(d) Commission rules
The Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Assistant Attorney General and by rule in accordance with section 553 of title 5, consistent with the purposes of this section—
(1) shall require that the notification required under subsection (a) of this section be in such form and contain such documentary material and information relevant to a proposed acquisition as is necessary and appropriate to enable the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General to determine whether such acquisition may, if consummated, violate the antitrust laws; and
(2) may—
(A) define the terms used in this section;
(B) exempt, from the requirements of this section, classes of persons, acquisitions, transfers, or transactions which are not likely to violate the antitrust laws; and
(C) prescribe such other rules as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section.
(e) Additional information; waiting period extensions
(1)
(A) The Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General may, prior to the expiration of the 30-day waiting period (or in the case of a cash tender offer, the 15-day waiting period) specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section, require the submission of additional information or documentary material relevant to the proposed acquisition, from a person required to file notification with respect to such acquisition under subsection (a) of this section prior to the expiration of the waiting period specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section, or from any officer, director, partner, agent, or employee of such person.
(B)
(i) The Assistant Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall each designate a senior official who does not have direct responsibility for the review of any enforcement recommendation under this section concerning the transaction at issue, to hear any petition filed by such person to determine—
(I) whether the request for additional information or documentary material is unreasonably cumulative, unduly burdensome, or duplicative; or
(II) whether the request for additional information or documentary material has been substantially complied with by the petitioning person.
(ii) Internal review procedures for petitions filed pursuant to clause (i) shall include reasonable deadlines for expedited review of such petitions, after reasonable negotiations with investigative staff, in order to avoid undue delay of the merger review process.
(iii) Not later than 90 days after December 21, 2000, the Assistant Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall conduct an internal review and implement reforms of the merger review process in order to eliminate unnecessary burden, remove costly duplication, and eliminate undue delay, in order to achieve a more effective and more efficient merger review process.
(iv) Not later than 120 days after December 21, 2000, the Assistant Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall issue or amend their respective industry guidance, regulations, operating manuals and relevant policy documents, to the extent appropriate, to implement each reform in this subparagraph.
(v) Not later than 180 days after December 21, 2000, the Assistant Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall each report to Congress—
(I) which reforms each agency has adopted under this subparagraph;
(II) which steps each has taken to implement such internal reforms; and
(III) the effects of such reforms.
(2) The Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General, in its or his discretion, may extend the 30-day waiting period (or in the case of a cash tender offer, the 15-day waiting period) specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section for an additional period of not more than 30 days (or in the case of a cash tender offer, 10 days) after the date on which the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General, as the case may be, receives from any person to whom a request is made under paragraph (1), or in the case of tender offers, the acquiring person,
(A) all the information and documentary material required to be submitted pursuant to such a request, or
(B) if such request is not fully complied with, the information and documentary material submitted and a statement of the reasons for such noncompliance. Such additional period may be further extended only by the United States district court, upon an application by the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General pursuant to subsection (g)(2) of this section.
(f) Preliminary injunctions; hearings
If a proceeding is instituted or an action is filed by the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that a proposed acquisition violates section 18 of this title, or section 45 of this title, or an action is filed by the United States, alleging that a proposed acquisition violates such section 18 of this title, or section 1 or 2 of this title, and the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General
(1) files a motion for a preliminary injunction against consummation of such acquisition pendente lite, and
(2) certifies the United States district court for the judicial district within which the respondent resides or carries on business, or in which the action is brought, that it or he believes that the public interest requires relief pendente lite pursuant to this subsection, then upon the filing of such motion and certification, the chief judge of such district court shall immediately notify the chief judge of the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which such district court is located, who shall designate a United States district judge to whom such action shall be assigned for all purposes.
(g) Civil penalty; compliance; power of court
(1) Any person, or any officer, director, or partner thereof, who fails to comply with any provision of this section shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day during which such person is in violation of this section. Such penalty may be recovered in a civil action brought by the United States.
(2) If any person, or any officer, director, partner, agent, or employee thereof, fails substantially to comply with the notification requirement under subsection (a) of this section or any request for the submission of additional information or documentary material under subsection (e)(1) of this section within the waiting period specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section and as may be extended under subsection (e)(2) of this section, the United States district court—
(A) may order compliance;
(B) shall extend the waiting period specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section and as may have been extended under subsection (e)(2) of this section until there has been substantial compliance, except that, in the case of a tender offer, the court may not extend such waiting period on the basis of a failure, by the person whose stock is sought to be acquired, to comply substantially with such notification requirement or any such request; and
(C) may grant such other equitable relief as the court in its discretion determines necessary or appropriate,
upon application of the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General.
(h) Disclosure exemption
Any information or documentary material filed with the Assistant Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to this section shall be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, and no such information or documentary material may be made public, except as may be relevant to any administrative or judicial action or proceeding. Nothing in this section is intended to prevent disclosure to either body of Congress or to any duly authorized committee or subcommittee of the Congress.
(i) Construction with other laws
(1) Any action taken by the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General or any failure of the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General to take any action under this section shall not bar any proceeding or any action with respect to such acquisition at any time under any other section of this Act or any other provision of law.
(2) Nothing contained in this section shall limit the authority of the Assistant Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission to secure at any time from any person documentary material, oral testimony, or other information under the Antitrust Civil Process Act [15 U.S.C. 1311 et seq.], the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.], or any other provision of law.
(j) Omitted
(k) Extensions of time
If the end of any period of time provided in this section falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday (as defined in section 6103 (a) of title 5), then such period shall be extended to the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday.

Source

(Oct. 15, 1914, ch. 323, § 7A, as added Pub. L. 94–435, title II, § 201,Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1390; amended Pub. L. 98–620, title IV, § 402(10)(A),Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3358; Pub. L. 101–73, title XII, § 1214,Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 529; Pub. L. 106–102, title I, § 133(c),Nov. 12, 1999, 113 Stat. 1383; Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(a), (c), (d)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2762, 2762A–108, 2762A–110.)
References in Text

The antitrust laws, referred to in subsecs. (c), (d), are defined in section 12 of this title.
This Act, referred to in subsec. (i)(1), is act Oct. 15, 1914, ch. 323, 38 Stat. 730, as amended, known as the Clayton Act, which is classified generally to sections 12, 13, 14 to 19, 21, and 22 to 27 of this title, and sections 52 and 53 of Title 29, Labor. For further details and complete classification of this Act to the Code, see References in Text note set out under section 12 of this title and Tables.
The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in subsec. (i)(2), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§ 41 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.
The Antitrust Civil Process Act, referred to in subsec. (i)(2), is Pub. L. 87–664, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 548, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 34 (§ 1311 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1311 of this title and Tables.
Codification

December 21, 2000, referred to in subsec. (e)(1)(B), was in the original “the date of the enactment of this Act” which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 106–553, which enacted subsec. (e)(1)(B), to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Subsection (j), which required the Federal Trade Commission, with the concurrence of the Assistant Attorney General, to report annually to Congress on the operation of this section, terminated, effective May 15, 2000, pursuant to section 3003 ofPub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance. See, also, page 172 of House Document No. 103–7.
Amendments

2000—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(a)], amended subsec. (a) generally, reenacting introductory provisions, par. (1), and concluding provisions without change, adding par. (2), and striking out former pars. (2) and (3) which read as follows:
“(2)(A) any voting securities or assets of a person engaged in manufacturing which has annual net sales or total assets of $10,000,000 or more are being acquired by any person which has total assets or annual net sales of $100,000,000 or more;
“(B) any voting securities or assets of a person not engaged in manufacturing which has total assets of $10,000,000 or more are being acquired by any person which has total assets or annual net sales of $100,000,000 or more; or
“(C) any voting securities or assets of a person with annual net sales or total assets of $100,000,000 or more are being acquired by any person with total assets or annual net sales of $10,000,000 or more; and
“(3) as a result of such acquisition, the acquiring person would hold—
“(A) 15 per centum or more of the voting securities or assets of the acquired person, or
“(B) an aggregate total amount of the voting securities and assets of the acquired person in excess of $15,000,000.”
Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(c)], designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).
Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(d)(1)], substituted “30 days” for “20 days”.
Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(d)(2)], added subsec. (k).
1999—Subsec. (c)(7). Pub. L. 106–102, § 133(c)(1), inserted before semicolon at end “, except that a portion of a transaction is not exempt under this paragraph if such portion of the transaction (A) is subject to section 1843 (k) of title 12; and (B) does not require agency approval under section 1842 of title 12”.
Subsec. (c)(8). Pub. L. 106–102, § 133(c)(2), inserted before semicolon at end “, except that a portion of a transaction is not exempt under this paragraph if such portion of the transaction (A) is subject to section 1843 (k) of title 12; and (B) does not require agency approval under section 1843 of title 12”.
1989—Subsec. (c)(7). Pub. L. 101–73, § 1214(1), inserted reference to section 1467a (e) of title 12.
Subsec. (c)(8). Pub. L. 101–73, § 1214(2), struck out reference to section 1726 or 1730a (e) of title 12.
1984—Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 98–620struck out designation “(A)” before “upon the filing”, and struck out subpar. (B) which had provided that if the Federal Trade Commission or the Assistant Attorney General certified that he or it believed that the public interest required relief pendente lite pursuant to this subsection, the motion for a preliminary injunction had to be set down for hearing by the district judge so designated at the earliest practicable time, would take precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character and trials pursuant to section 3161 of title 18, and had to be in every way expedited.
Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(e)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2762, 2762A–111, provided that: “This section [amending this section and provisions set out as a note under this section] and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the 1st day of the 1st month that begins more than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 21, 2000].”
Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–102effective 120 days after Nov. 12, 1999, see section 161 ofPub. L. 106–102, set out as a note under section 24 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620not applicable to cases pending on Nov. 8, 1984, see section 403 ofPub. L. 98–620, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1657 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date

Pub. L. 94–435, title II, § 202,Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1394, provided that: “The amendment made by section 201 of this Act [enacting this section] shall take effect 150 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1976], except that subsection (d) ofsection 7A of the Clayton Act [subsec. (d) of this section] (as added by section 201 of this Act) shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.”
Assessment and Collection of Filing Fees

Pub. L. 101–162, title VI, § 605,Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1031, as amended by Pub. L. 101–302, title II, May 25, 1990, 104 Stat. 217; Pub. L. 102–395, title I, Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1847; Pub. L. 103–317, title I, Aug. 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 1739; Pub. L. 106–553, § 1(a)(2) [title VI, § 630(b)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2762, 2762A–109, provided that:
“(a) Five working days after enactment of this Act [Nov. 21, 1989] and thereafter, the Federal Trade Commission shall assess and collect filing fees established in subsection (b) which shall be paid by persons acquiring voting securities or assets who are required to file premerger notifications by the [sic] section 7A of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 18a) and the regulations promulgated thereunder. For purposes of said Act, no notification shall be considered filed until payment of the fee required by this section. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be divided evenly between and credited to the appropriations, Federal Trade Commission, ‘Salaries and Expenses’ and Department of Justice, ‘Salaries and Expenses, Antitrust Division’: Provided, That fees in excess of $40,000,000 in fiscal year 1990 shall be deposited to the credit of the Treasury of the United States: Provided further, That fees made available to the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division herein shall remain available until expended.
“(b) The filing fees referred to in subsection (a) are—
“(1) $45,000 if the aggregate total amount determined under section 7A(a)(2) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 18a (a)(2)) is less than $100,000,000 (as adjusted and published for each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2004, in the same manner as provided in section 8(a)(5) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 19 (a)(5)) to reflect the percentage change in the gross national product for such fiscal year compared to the gross national product for the year ending September 30, 2003);
“(2) $125,000 if the aggregate total amount determined under section 7A(a)(2) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 18a (a)(2)) is not less than $100,000,000 (as so adjusted and published) but less than $500,000,000 (as so adjusted and published); and
“(3) $280,000 if the aggregate total amount determined under section 7A(a)(2) of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 18a (a)(2)) is not less than $500,000,000 (as so adjusted and published).”

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16 CFR - Commercial Practices

16 CFR Part 2 - NONADJUDICATIVE PROCEDURES

16 CFR Part 801 - COVERAGE RULES

16 CFR Part 802 - EXEMPTION RULES

16 CFR Part 803 - TRANSMITTAL RULES

 

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