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FTC Eases Merger-Filing Process

The government is trying to cut down on the paperwork required of merging media and other would-be corporate melds.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department say they will now allow merging companies to file pre-merger notifications and their frequently heavy information load online.

Antitrust-related information per the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act can now either be submitted the old-fashioned way, which sometimes amounts to a forestful of trees--a million pieces of paper, for instance--or they can file the papers and often-voluminous attachments online.

The agencies have assured the parties that their information will remain secure and confidential, a necessary reassurance in the wake of the revelation that the government failed to adequately secure millions of pieces of personal information about veterans.