HSR Act Second Requests: Industry Metrics and HaystackID Support

Editor’s Note: Taken from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports and data sets, the numbers represented in the following charts highlight metrics that may be useful for law firms, legal departments, and legal services providers seeking to understand the annual pulse rate of Hart-Scott-Rodino Act mandated merger transaction reviews and Second Requests. The charts may also be useful for considering the claims of eDiscovery providers regarding their expertise and experience in supporting Second Requests.

Given the relatively small number of Second Request opportunities when compared to the traditional opportunities for eDiscovery in support of audits, investigations, and litigation, claims of expertise and experience in this unique type of discovery may be difficult to assess without the context of the actual numbers of Second Requests made annually by the FTC and DOJ. Many providers may claim experience in conducting the tasks required in Second Requests. However, a significantly fewer number of providers may actually have experience in conducting those tasks as part of an actual Second Request case or matter.

HaystackID has both recent experience and the required expertise to support this unique type of discovery.

The Requirement for Second Requests: The HSR Act

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 was adopted to help the federal government avoid anti-competitive outcomes during the course of mergers and acquisitions. The HSR Act requires parties to mergers or acquisitions of certain sizes to notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and to provide information and documentation regarding the proposed transaction. Upon review of submitted information and documentation, the FTC or DOJ may make additional requests, known as Second Requests, before rendering a decision on the proposed transaction. Normally requiring a response within 30 days, most Second Requests result in a settlement, litigation to block the transaction or abandonment of the transaction by involved parties.

Provided for context and comparison purposes are six information charts that share HSR Act related metrics ranging from transactions reported to percentages and numbers of transactions warranting Second Requests.

The Prevalence of Second Requests: Six Informational Charts

Chart 1: HSR Act Merger Transactions Reported

1-HSR-Act Merger-Transactions-Reported-2010-2018

Chart 2: HSR Merger Transaction Candidates for Second Requests (Adjusted Transactions)


These figures are different than the number of transactions reported as they omit all transactions for which the agencies were not authorized to request additional information.

Chart 3: Percentage of Transactions Resulting in HSR Act Second Requests


These figures are a percentage of the total number of adjusted transactions.

Chart 4: Number of HSR Act Second Requests (Combined FTC and DOJ)

4-Number-of-HSR-Act-Second-Requests -2010-2018

Chart 5: Number of HSR Act Second Requests – FTC


Chart 6: Number of HSR Act Second Requests – DOJ


HaystackID Experience and Expertise in Second Requests: A Case Study

A proven provider of eDiscovery support for FTC and DOJ Second Requests, HaystackID has participated in twelve Second Requests during 2019-20. Six of those requests along with HaystacksID’s integrated and organic approach to antitrust agency support are shared in the following case study.

In this case study, HaystackID highlights a four-month period in mid-2019 when it successfully supported six separate Second Requests within 90 days. These six requests required both antitrust request process experience and cannabis industry expertise in order to meet and exceed reporting requirements for the time-sensitive and comprehensive information and documentation requests. 

1 – HaystackID Antitrust Agency Request Support – Update

Learn More. Today.

Contact us today to set up an exploratory discussion to learn more about how HaystackID may be able to help you establish, enhance, or refine Second Request responses, procedures, and practices in your corporate legal department.

About HaystackID

HaystackID is a specialized eDiscovery services firm that helps corporations and law firms find, listen, and learn from data when they face complex, data-intensive investigations and litigation. With an earned reputation for mobilizing industry-leading computer forensics, eDiscovery, and attorney document review experts, our Forensics First, Early Case Insight, and ReviewRight services accelerate and deliver quality outcomes at a fair and predictable price.

HaystackID serves more than 500 of the world’s leading corporations and law firms from North American and European locations. Our combination of expertise and technical excellence, coupled with a culture of white glove customer service, makes us the alternative legal services provider that is big enough to matter but small enough to care. Learn more today at HaystackID.com.


(1) Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (2019). Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report Fiscal Year 2018. [online] Federal Trade Commission. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/federal-trade-commission-bureau-competition-department-justice-antitrust-division-hart-scott-rodino/fy18hsrreport.pdf [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020].

(2) Federal Trade Commission (2019). HSR Transactions Filings and Second Requests by Fiscal Year (CSV). [online] Federal Trade Commission. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/open-government/data-sets [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020].

(3) Federal Trade Commission (2019). Model Request for Additional Information and Documentary Material (Second Request). [online] FTC Premerger Notification Office. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/merger-review/may2019_model_second_request_final.pdf [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020].

Additional Reading

Source: HaystackID