FTC: See How Many Blockchain M&A Deals Were Blocked During Biden Administration

This Biden Administration The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has repeatedly used its regulatory powers in recent years to challenge planned mergers and acquisitions.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition is responsible for enforcing the antitrust laws and investigating proposed actions. mergers and acquisitions which, she believes, could have a negative impact on consumers due to companies buying out their competitors.

When the agency believes a merger or acquisition will undermine competition in a market, it can investigate a pending deal, which can result in the companies changing the terms to address concerns or filing a lawsuit to stop the merger. It also works with the Justice Department to investigate and litigate proposed mergers.

“The FTC is committed to fully enforcing the nation’s antitrust laws, using the tools Congress has given the Commission to block anticompetitive mergers that threaten free and fair competition,” an FTC spokesperson told FOX Business. “Mergers or acquisitions can create competition concerns in many ways, including stifling innovation, raising prices, denying competitors access to a product or service, or reducing quality, all of which can harm consumers, workers, and emerging businesses.”


Federal Trade Commission Headquarters

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has challenged or filed lawsuits to block several high-profile mergers and acquisitions in recent years. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

This FTC Efforts The investigations and challenges to proposed mergers have drawn criticism from the industry. Companies have argued that they can help smaller companies better compete in the global economy, and that regulatory challenges can undermine innovation and entrepreneurs’ incentives to acquire their companies.

Here are some of the notable mergers and acquisitions that the FTC has investigated or filed lawsuits to block in recent years:

Albertsons and Kroger

Grocery chain Kroger announced in October 2022 that it would acquire Albertsons for $24.6 billion – the biggest supermarket merger in U.S. history. The companies later announced plans to sell more than 500 of their stores to C&S Wholesale to resolve regulatory issues and allow those locations to continue operating.

Split image of Kroger and Albertsons storefronts

Albertsons and Kroger plan to sell more than 500 stores to secure planned merger. (Kroger: Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images | Albertsons: Shelby Tauber/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In February 2024, the FTC filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger, arguing that it would eliminate competition between the two supermarket giants, as well as lead to higher prices for consumers and weaken demand for workers.

The dispute is currently being heard in federal court.

Heart Security Last Change Change %
ACI ALBERTSON COMPANIES 19:57 +0.23 +1.19%
KR KROGER Company 52.99 +1.13 +2.18%


Activision and FTC logos

The FTC is appealing its conviction for failing to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. (Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard

Tech giant Microsoft announced in January 2022 that it had reached a $68.7 billion deal to acquire video game studio Activision Blizzard, which develops the Call of Duty series, in the largest proposed merger in history video game industry.

The FTC filed a lawsuit seeking to block the merger in December 2022, saying it would allow Microsoft to limit competition from rival video game platforms. Microsoft’s Xbox denying them access to the popular video game series.

Heart Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 462.89 -3.36 -0.72%

In July 2023, a federal judge in the Northern District of California denied the FTC’s request to block the merger, allowing it to proceed.

The transaction closed in October 2023, although the FTC he filed an appeal in December by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose case remains pending.


Branded Mattress

The FTC has filed a lawsuit to block the merger of Mattress Firm and Tempur Sealy. (Photo: Don and Melinda Crawford/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Mattress Firm and Tempur Sealy

Mattress manufacturer Tempur Sealy announced the deal to buy retailer Mattress Firm for $4 billion in May 2023.

In June 2024, the FTC announced it would file a lawsuit over concerns that the company could undermine competition from rivals Serta Simmons Bedding and Purple Innovation, cutting off their access to the market while raising prices and lowering the quality of products for consumers.

Heart Security Last Change Change %

Mattress Firm told FOX Business last month that it “continues to believe the transaction with Tempur Sealy will be a win-win for consumers and workers, as well as the bedding and furniture industry as a whole,” adding that it will continue to offer both Tempur Sealy and other branded products.

Tempur Sealy said in a conference call with investors this week that it believes the merger is “legally sound” and believes “successful litigation could be completed in the coming months,” allowing the deal to close in late 2024 or early 2025.


Versace storefront

Versace is one of Tapestry’s luxury brands. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Tapestry and Capri

Tapestry, the parent company of Coach and Kate Spade, announced in August 2023 that it would acquire Capri, the owner of the Michael Kors brand, in an $8.5 billion deal that will bring several benefits luxury brands within one company.

In April 2024, the FTC sued the company to block the acquisition, arguing that the merger would “deprive millions of American consumers of the benefits of Tapestry and Capri’s direct competition,” citing pricing, discounts and promotions, design, marketing, and advertising as areas in which the two companies compete.

Heart Security Last Change Change %
TPR TAPELINE WALLPAPER INC. 42.35 +0.79 +1.90%
CPR CAPRI HOLDINGS LTD. 34.09 +0.10 +0.29%

The case is expected to go to court in September.


iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners are sold at Target

Amazon and iRobot have pulled out of their planned merger amid regulatory scrutiny. (Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Amazon and iRobot

Tech giant Amazon announced in August 2022 that it would acquire robotics company iRobot in a $1.4 billion deal that was subject to scrutiny by U.S. and European regulators.

The FTC investigated the proposed merger amid concerns about Amazon’s growing market power. Although no lawsuit was filed, Amazon and iRobot announced they would complete their merger in January 2024 in the face of regulatory scrutiny.

Heart Security Last Change Change %
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 199.41 -0.39 -0.19%
IRBT IROBOT CORP. 8.58 -0.10 -1.15%


“Mergers and acquisitions like this help companies like iRobot better compete in the global marketplace, especially when compared to companies and countries that are not subject to the same regulatory requirements in fast-growing technology segments like robotics,” Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky said in announcing the completion of the merger.

“Unjustified and disproportionate regulatory hurdles discourage entrepreneurs who should be able to see acquisition as a path to success, and that harms both consumers and competition — the very things regulators claim they are trying to protect,” Zapolsky added.