The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") just announced increases to the reporting thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the "HSR Act"). These changes result from amendments to the HSR Act enacted in 2000 that require the FTC to revise the reporting thresholds annually based on changes in the U.S. gross national product. The increases will apply to all transactions that close after the effective date, which likely will be in late February (30 days after publication of the changes in the Federal Register).
Most significantly, the minimum "size-of-transaction" threshold will be raised from $66.0 to $68.2 million. Acquisitions below this threshold will not be reportable.
The new HSR dollar thresholds for 2012 will be as follows:
|Threshold||2012 Adjusted Threshold|
|Minimum Size-of-Transaction||$68.2 million|
|Size-of-Persons Test||$13.6 million and $136.4 million|
|Size-of-Transaction above which|
Size-of-Persons Test Does Not Apply
The adjustments also apply to certain other HSR Act thresholds and exemptions.
While the HSR filing fee amounts have not changed, the size-of-transaction thresholds, upon which the filing fee is based, increased. Under the new thresholds, the filing fee will be:
|2012 Size-of-Transaction Threshold||Filing Fee|
|Value of transaction greater than|
$68.2 million, but less than $136.4 million
|Value of transaction $136.4 million or greater, but less than $682.1 million||$125,000|
|Value of transaction $682.1 million|
|25% of an issuer's voting securities if|
valued in excess of $1,364.1 million
|50% of an issuer's voting securities if|
valued at greater than $68.2 million
Even if a transaction is reportable based on the above thresholds, it may qualify for an HSR Act exemption. Complex rules apply to the valuation and exemptions under the HSR Act and you should consult an attorney versed in HSR matters to determine whether a transaction is reportable.
The new thresholds will remain in effect until the next annual adjustment, expected in the first quarter of 2013.
In a related development, the FTC also announced adjustments to the thresholds for Section 8 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits a person from serving as a director or officer in two competing corporations. The jurisdictional thresholds under Section 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(2)(A) are revised from $26,867,000 and $2,686,700 to $27,784,000 and $2,778,400, respectively. As a result of these adjustments, Section 8 will apply to corporations with capital, surplus, and undivided profits aggregating more than $27,784,000, unless the competitive sales of either corporation are less than $2,778,400; the competitive sales of either corporation are less than 2 percent of that corporation's total sales; or the competitive sales of each corporation are less than 4 per cent of that corporation's total sales. The notice announcing these revisions will be published shortly in the Federal Register and will be effective upon publication.
Fulbright attorneys are well versed in the HSR Act and its reporting requirements and are available to advise parties regarding the reportability of transactions, as well as guide clients through the reporting process and any government investigation that may follow an HSR filing.
This article was prepared by Neely B. Agin (email@example.com or 202 662 4723), David M. Foster (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 662 4517), Daniel L. Wellington (email@example.com or 202 662 4574) from Fulbright's Antitrust and Competition Practice Group.