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The United States and the European Union may not agree on everything, but now they’ll be a lot closer on the subject of antitrust review. In November, regulators from both sides of the Atlantic adopted a set of guidelines for coordinating merger investigations. The accord calls for officials at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the European Commission to apprise each other of major developments in merger investigations. Companies will also have the chance to confer jointly with American and European investigators. The agencies also vow to share public documents and their analysis of market definition, efficiencies, and competitive harms. In addition, they pledge to coordinate their requests for deal data and documents. On the topic of regulatory remedies, the agencies promise to seek solutions that would not create competition problems in markets outside their jurisdiction. They also urge companies to coordinate remedy discussions with the U.S. and Europe. The agreement calls for better communication between Washington, D.C., and Brussels, and each side agrees to notify the other as soon as a major cross-border deal is filed. Additionally, senior officials will establish a schedule of regular consultations at the start of an investigation. Whether companies will take advantage of the accord is unclear. Steven Newborn, a partner in the D.C. office of London’s Clifford Chance, says that only companies involved in the biggest mergers-those certain to get attention from both E.U. and U.S. authorities-would want to coordinate reviews. “Sometimes you don’t want to call attention to your deal,” he explains.

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