7 the most significant amendments to the hsr act to

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7. The most significant amendments to the HSR Act to date were enacted in December 2000 and took effect in February 2001. 178 These statutory amendments increased the size-of-transaction threshold from US$15 million to US$50 million and eliminated the 15% size-of-transaction test, thus making US$50 million an absolute floor for reportability, and made other changes to the filing and waiting requirements. The increase in reporting thresholds, combined with the overall decline in merger activity from that of recent years, resulted in 1,187 transactions being reported under the HSR Act in fiscal year 2002, a decrease of approximately 76%, from 4,926 in fiscal year 2000, the last full fiscal year under the previous reporting thresholds. 8. During 2001 and 2002, the FTC and DOJ adopted several changes in the regulations implementing the HSR Act (16 CFR 801 et. seq.); some were made in order to implement the changes enacted in December 2000, while others were intended to improve particular provisions of the regulations. In that latter category, several changes were made to the regulations that provide pre- merger reporting exemptions for certain acquisitions of foreign assets and voting securities of a foreign issuer. These changes included raising the nexus-with-the-United States level that triggers a filing obligation to US$50 million, essentially to mirror the new threshold for reporting of domestic acquisitions, and extending reportability to certain acquisitions of foreign assets by foreign persons, which are now subject to the same US$50 million nexus-with-the-United States test as acquisitions of foreign voting securities. 9. The United States has antitrust cooperation agreements with Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Germany, Israel, Japan, and Mexico. The details of the cooperation that has occurred pursuant to these agreements are frequently confidential. However, the authorities have noted that one recent example of cooperation involves General Electric's acquisition of Instrumentarium, in which the DOJ and the European Commission cooperated closely during their respective investigations. 179 Similarly, the FTC cooperated closely with the Canadian Competition Bureau and the European Commission in the investigation of Bayer AG's acquisition of Aventis CropSciences, the settlement of which required the coordination of divestitures of related agricultural crop protection products in both Europe and North America. 180 10. Under the Regulatory Reform Initiative, signed in June 2001 as a component of the U.S.- Japan Economic Partnership for Growth, the United States and Japan exchange reform recommendations in the autumn, that serve as a basis for annual reports, specifying reform measures to be taken by each Government. The USTR is the lead agency for the U.S. Government for this Initiative, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes the lead for the Japanese Government. The First Report to the Leaders on the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative, was 178 Section 630 of Pub. L. No. 106-553, 114 Stat. 2762.
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