Bracewell’s Dan Hemli spoke to Law360 reporter Bryan Koenig about 7-Eleven Inc. completing its $21 billion purchase of the Speedway chain before the Federal Trade Commission finished its merger investigation. FTC Democrats and Republicans split 2-2, with both sides equally critical of the merger, but seemingly divided over what action to take.
A recent wave of criticism that US enforcers in the past have been too permissive of potentially anti-competitive mergers and too forgiving of illegal conduct has also caused a divide.
“Hindsight is always perfect as they say. But I think the writing has been on the wall for some time,” Hemli said of the FTC Democratic members’ criticism.
Antitrust professionals agree that past criticisms, including of new vertical merger guidelines, could signal future stalemates as long as the FTC is down a commissioner.