U.S., European Merger Review Adapts to COVID-19 Crisis

Agencies Working Remotely, Modified Timelines Expected Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - March 19, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and U.S. Federal Trade Commission have announced new procedures that will impact the process and timing of merger reviews. While each agency remains operational, merging parties should expect and prepare for delays in the typical review process. Merging parties may want to revisit “drop dead” dates to account for potential delays. To the extent that particular M&A activity relates to a company’s ongoing financial health, or economic recovery at large, the agencies may take account of special circumstances and potentially expedite review, as they have in previous times of crisis.