FTC Sharpens Focus on Private Equity
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- As part of a consent agreement announced earlier this week, the FTC made clear that private equity firms will continue to be an area of significant focus for the agency and prime targets for the Commission’s expanded use of prior notice and approval provisions in future settlements.
- The FTC’s Democratic-appointed majority pointed to private equity’s propensity for roll-up acquisitions in sectors such as healthcare and described this model as contrary to the competitive process; the Commission’s Republican-appointed minority objected to their colleagues’ “evident distaste for private equity as a business model.”
- While the Commission remains divided, its majority is undoubtedly leaning into rhetoric against private equity roll-ups and appears primed to use prior approval provisions to police deals that may otherwise not be HSR reportable, which could have far-reaching implications for future private equity acquisitions.