The Tunney Act of 1974 was introduced to Congress in response to the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation’s mergers. These settlements were handled out of sight of the public and some parties felt that the settlements reached were simply corporate favors. In response to these mergers, Senator John V. Tunney introduced new legislation. The main purpose of the Tunney Act was to determine if a merger between two companies is in the public interest. The court determines if a merger is in the public interest by looking at the competitive impact of the merger and the impact it will have on competition in other markets.
Amendments to the Tunney Act
The Tunney Act was amended in 2004. The amendments give judges more authority when reviewing consent decrees between the Department of Justice and the companies who are merging. It also allows the Justice Department to publish Tunney Act notices on the Internet instead of in the Federal Register.