Companies seeking US regulatory approval for mergers could face delays in completing their deals as federal officials seek extra time to complete reviews amid disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Bloomberg.
Pending mergers that may be affected include AbbVie's $63-billion deal for Allergan, and Google's planned acquisition of FitBit for $2.1 billion.
In a statement Tuesday, the US Justice Department’s antitrust division said it will ask companies for an additional 30 days for merger reviews that are in their final stages.
Meanwhile, the Federal trade Commission (FTC) said it will seek extensions as needed, adding that "staff is fully operational, but the commission will not sacrifice the scope and thoroughness of its investigations due to current limitations and timing concerns."
The FTC said extensions may be necessary because disruptions caused by the coronavirus could hamper companies' ability to produce documents and make employees available for interviews. Antitrust officials also need information from third parties in merger reviews.
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