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Most mergers actually benefit competition and consumers by allowing firms to operate more efficiently. In a competitive market, firms pass on these lower costs to consumers. But some mergers, by reducing competition, can cost consumers many millions of dollars every year in the form of higher prices and reduced product quality, consumer choice, and innovation. The Bureau of Competition reviews mergers to determine which ones have the potential to harm consumers; thoroughly investigates those that may be troublesome; and recommends enforcement action to the commission when necessary to protect competition and consumers. The FTC challenges only a small percentage of mergers each year. Various remedies may be suitable for transactions that pose antitrust concerns. These include settlement, litigation, or abandonment of the transaction by the parties.

Inside Mergers