CPI Talks…

talk

…with Ian Conner

In this month’s edition of CPI Talks… we have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Ian Conner, Director of the Bureau of Competition at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Thank you, Mr. Conner, for sharing your time for this interview with CPI.

 

  1. The economy continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. How has the FTC responded to the crisis? Have patterns of conduct, merger activity, and enforcement been significantly impacted by the new economic conditions?

The Bureau and our colleagues throughout the Commission have responded to the changes brought on by the pandemic amazingly well, given the significant challenges that this process has entailed both in the Bureau’s work and in the personal lives of our colleagues. A prime example is the HSR program. As soon as we learned that we would be moving to full-time telework, the staff of our Premerger Notification Office rallied to the task of setting up –for the first time ever – an electronic filing system for HSR Notifications. The PNO announced the plan on Friday, March 13th, and it was operational by Tuesday, the 17th. It has been a tremendous success. Staff has been able to process and review HSR filings remotely without disruption.

Not surprisingly, HSR filings have dropped significantly since March. If you compare recent activity to the levels for prior months and years from our annual HSR reports, you can see that there has been a significant drop in filings ye

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