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Businesses Government United States Technology

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan signaled changes are on the way in how the agency scrutinizes acquisitions after revealing the results of a study of a decade's worth of Big Tech company deals that weren't reported to the agency. From a report: Tech's business ecosystem is built on giant companies buying up small startups, but the message from the antitrust agency this week could chill mergers and acquisitions in the sector. The FTC reviewed 616 transactions valued at $1 million or more between 2010 and 2019 that were not reported to antitrust authorities by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. 94 of the transactions actually exceeded the dollar size threshold that would require companies to report a deal. The deals may have qualified for other regulatory exemptions. 79% of transactions used deferred or contingent compensation to founders and key employees, and nearly 77% involved non-compete clauses. 36% of the transactions involved assuming some amount of debt or liabilities. In a statement, Khan said the report shows that loopholes may be "unjustifiably enabling deals to fly under the radar."