The Federal Trade Commission said that an increase in the number of mergers before the FTC for antitrust review is limiting its ability to investigate deals in a timely fashion, on Tuesday.
It said in a statement that the influx is straining the agency's capacity to rigorously investigate deals ahead of the statutory deadlines.
The agency said it sent letters to companies planning transactions that receive a request for in-depth documentation about a deal to inform them that although the usual 30 - day waiting period would soon expire, that the FTC investigation was continuing.
Please be advised that if the parties consummate this transaction before the Commission has concluded its investigation, they would do so at their own risk, it said.
In February, the FTC and Justice Department's Antitrust Division temporarily suspended the practice of granting early terminations for the least-controversial deals. It did so because of the change in administrations and a jump in the number of merger filings.
Under merger law, transactions over a certain size must be reported to the government, which allows many to go forward quickly in what is called early termination. More complicated or more controversial transactions trigger a second request, or a demand for documents about the proposed transactions.