Manatt’s Lisl Dunlop, co-chair of the firm’s antitrust and competition practice, spoke to Law360 about the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division’s plans to tackle the length of time it takes to complete merger reviews.
According to the publication, the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission are taking an average of 11.6 months to review mergers—up from just seven months in 2011. The DOJ’s Donald Kempf, a deputy assistant attorney general, said that one way the DOJ would try to improve the process is by better tailoring second requests for information.
Dunlop explained that tailoring the second requests could go a long way in bringing down the review times, but that the agencies often lack enough information to narrow the requests when they are first issued.
“Because of the way the process is set up, the agency only gets one chance to issue a fairly extensive request at a time when they might not know how broad they really want to go, and I think there’s a tendency for them to ask for the kitchen sink,” said Dunlop.