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Press Release Published: Nov 20, 2023

Comer Probes FTC’s Failure to Safeguard Confidential Information in Corporate Merger

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today opened a probe into the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) failures to safeguard confidential corporate information in the premerger process of Amgen Inc.’s (Amgen) merger with Horizon Therapeutics (Horizon) and improper litigation practices. In a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Chairman Comer is requesting documents and communications to better understand FTC’s apparent misuse of confidential information.

“In May 2023, the FTC filed a lawsuit opposing Amgen’s merger. The FTC improperly disclosed Amgen’s and Horizon’s confidential corporate information on four separate occasions, including two instances involving two state attorneys general,” Chairman Comer wrote.

This letter is the latest in the Oversight Committee’s investigation into a pattern of abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law and due process under Chair Khan’s leadership at the FTC. The Committee has opened probes into the FTC’s improper consulting with European officials in the Illumina-Grail merger, the FTC overstepping its authority in Indo-Pacific trade negotiations, the FTC’s failure to regulate the vision care market, Chair Khan’s abuses of power, and more.

“Left unaddressed, these actions could have a chilling effect on the willingness of companies to engage the Commission in non-adversarial reviews of proposed mergers thereby creating more resource-intensive litigation paid for by taxpayers. Corporations and consumers required to engage with the FTC deserve to be confident that the FTC takes its own legal obligations seriously, including its duty to safely guard private information from unlawful public disclosure.  The FTC’s failure to properly handle information defies its mission ‘to protect consumers and promote competition,’ and risks undermining regulatory reporting requirements and the companies that follow them in good faith,” Chairman Comer continued.

Read the letter to FTC Chair Khan here.