Buffett Watch

Berkshire Hathaway Gets Antitrust Clearance to Buy Burlington Northern

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has received FTC and Justice Department antitrust clearance for its planned $26 billion purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe .

In a routine notice posted today on the Federal Trade Commission's website, the Berkshire-Burlington transaction is one of six deals granted "early termination" of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.  That waiting period is designed to give the government time to review, and possible block or modify, proposed mergers that regulators think will hurt competition.

The termination means both the FTC and the DOJ have "completed their review and determined not to take any enforcement action during the waiting period."

UPDATE AT 12:30P ET: Berkshire and Burlington have issued a news release on the antitrust clearance, calling it an "important step in satisfying the closing conditions as set forth in the merger agreement."  The release goes on to say the companies "continue" to expect the deal to close in January, February, or March of next year.

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