In an early use of its newly issued Vertical Merger Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), on July 31, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the closure of its investigation into the London Stock Exchange Group’s (“LSEG”) proposed acquisition of Refinitiv. The DOJ cited the Guidelines as a factor in its decision, explaining that any vertical part of the deal likely would not harm competition. This Legal Update explores whether the DOJ’s reliance on the Guidelines, and the major, joint agency effort that went into their recent revision, will solidify their importance in the antitrust world.

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