The Department of Justice slowed down the Google-ITA Software deal today when it opened up an extended inquiry into the merger.
The regulatory review process for mergers and acquisitions can be complicated. We’ve tried to simplify it below.
There is a law called Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) that provides that before certain mergers or acquisitions, the two parties must file a “Notification and Report Form” to both the Federal Trade Commission and also the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Typically, either the FTC or the DOJ handles a specific case. With Google-ITA Software, the Department of Justice is investigating.
Once the HSR is filed, a 30-day review period begins and in that time, the regulatory agencies assess whether the proposed transaction violates any antitrust laws.
Today’s extended inquiry is a sign that DOJ continue to investigate Google-ITA Software and that the merger may threaten choice and competition.