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© Reuters. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a meeting of the Reproductive Rights Task Force at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., December 4, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. antitrust enforcers on Monday released the final version of new merger guidelines, which the Justice Department said are aimed at encouraging fair, open and competitive markets.

“These finalized guidelines provide transparency into how the Justice Department is protecting the American people from the ways in which unlawful, anticompetitive practices manifest themselves in our modern economy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

The draft guidelines were released in July, and followed

President Joe Biden’s call for them to be updated in a mid-2021 executive order.

The Biden administration has taken a tougher stance on mergers, filing some aggressive challenges in court with mixed results.

Just this month, the Federal Trade Commission challenged Sanofi (NASDAQ:)’s plan to license a drug for a rare disease, and Sanofi scrapped the planned license. And the Justice Department is awaiting a Boston federal judge’s ruling on its bid to stop JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:)’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines (NYSE:).

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