Diversity & Inclusion
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On January 19, 2017, the FTC announced the revised thresholds for determining whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. If a proposed deal meets certain thresholds, the parties must notify the FTC and the DOJ and observe a waiting period before consummating the transaction.
On January 17, 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May outlined the government’s 12 negotiating objectives for the UK's exit from the European Union and a vision of the UK as a "great, global trading nation". The speech set a number of important parameters, including plans to leave the EU single market and a Parliamentary vote on the final deal.
Less than two weeks into the 115th U.S. Congress, the House of Representatives passed the Commodity End-User Relief Act, the first attempt by the new Congress to pare down the Dodd-Frank Act. The bill would reauthorize the CFTC for five years at an annual budget level that would be unchanged from last year, rather than doubling its budget by 2021 as proposed by President Obama. While many of the bill's provisions would affect ongoing CFTC rulemakings, it is too soon to forecast whether the bill will be enacted in whole or in part. Either way, the bill demonstrates that the new, post-election congressional environment may have a considerable impact on CFTC actions.
On January 13, 2017, the DOJ and FTC issued revised guidelines for both intellectual property licensing and international enforcement and cooperation. The IP licensing revisions attempt to modernize the previous guidelines, which were last updated in 1995. The updates to the international enforcement and cooperation guidelines seek to give businesses transacting overseas a roadmap of the two agencies’ current practices, as well a framework for analyzing investigations with international dimensions.
On January 13, 2017, President Obama and OFAC announced the interim lifting of sanctions on Sudan, as well as a path to a permanent revocation of the sanctions in six months if certain conditions are met. The incoming Trump administration will decide in July 2017 whether to permanently revoke the sanctions. Additionally, in a separate action on January 12, 2017, OFAC issued clarifying guidance on the provision of certain legal and compliance services related to the requirements of U.S. sanctions laws.
On December 22, 2016, the Office of Foreign Assets Control announced amendments to the general license that authorizes the export or re-export of certain medical devices to Iran. The amendments substantially expand the range of medical devices that may be exported or re-exported to Iran without a specific license. These and other related changes went into effect the following day, December 23, 2016.
Volume 257, Number 6