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Regulatory rollercoaster: Four key developments you need to know

What legislative shifts do you need to watch in the coming months? We highlight some notable regulatory developments in North America, from competitive concerns in pharma M&A to a PPP extension.

On March 15, 2021, a federal judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of a Trump-era executive order that seeks to ban Americans from investing in Chinese electronics company, Xiaomi. The ruling is reported to have inspired other blacklisted Chinese companies to consider filing similar court challenges.
On March 16, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with the US Department of Justice, the European Commission, Canadian Competition Bureau, UK Competition and Markets Authority and three Offices of Attorneys General launched a multilateral working group to analyze the effects of mergers in the pharmaceutical sector. According to the FTC, this project “will ensure that FTC investigations include fresh approaches that fully analyze and address the varied competitive concerns that these mergers and acquisitions raise.”
In a speech given at the 2021 ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference (on March 16), Acting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Allison Herren Lee said that disclosure rules have failed to help everyday investors understand how managers exercise their voting powers. She expressed concern that regulations covering these practices have “not kept up with this new landscape of institutional investor-driven corporate governance.”
The US House of Representatives voted on March 16 to extend the deadline for applying to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program for an additional two months to May 31, 2021. The bill will now go the Senate, where it is expected to take up the proposed legislation, according to a Wall Street Journal report.