The United States government has an official website that is used by many government organizations. Recently, Robert Kramer, Chief of the Litigation Section II of the U. S. Antitrust Division, gave a speech before the Antitrust Section of the United States Bar Association.
He discussed several important agreements that were made in the first half of 1998. The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have different approaches when it comes to analyzing product markets. The FRB views banking as a cluster product market, while the DOJ follows the DOJ and FTC merger guidelines and defines markets based on consumer demand. Banks are seen as multi-product companies with different products that consumers do not consider good substitutes for each other. Therefore, loans for small businesses and intermediate markets are considered relevant product markets. This difference also affects the definition of geographic markets.
In Philadelphia, the FRB's geographic market definition included five counties in Pennsylvania and four counties in New Jersey. This was broader than the geographic market used in United States v. Philadelphia National Bank, which was a four-county market that included Philadelphia and its three adjoining counties: Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware. At the time, banks were only allowed to have branches in adjoining counties, but branch laws have since changed and Philadelphia banks can now branch beyond the four-county area. In 2002, the chairman of the Finance Committee announced a study on loans for agricultural businesses in Texas.
In 1995, a case was filed against a contractor, an architectural firm, and a structural engineering firm that were involved in renovating and extending the third floor of the Finance Commission building. The District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied a preliminary injunction and ruled that the state had not demonstrated a likelihood of success on its claim that the merger of NationsBank, North Carolina and NationsBank of Texas was not an intrastate merger because NationsBank, North Carolina had branches in El Paso (formerly branches of SunWorld, acquired through a merger).In 1987, Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox issued an opinion (JM-630) arguing that legislation authorizing acquisitions of Texas banks by holding companies from other states was constitutional under Texas law. In 1995, the 74th Legislature passed a bill banning interstate mergers and branches in Texas until September 1, 1999 to comply with the federal Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branches Act of 1994 (Article 16).In 1983, the 68th Legislature changed the number of members and composition of the Finance Committee to 12 by adding a three-member consumer credit section. It was argued that the merger was suitable as an intrastate merger because both banks were located in Texas.
The Finance Commission and Credit Union Commission conducted a study to compare Texas laws related to financial institutions with federal laws and determine which state laws could prevail or be overridden by federal law. In 1997, the 75th Legislature enacted the Texas Finance Code as a non-substantive codification of financial regulatory laws. This Act consolidated Chapters 152 and 153 related to money services businesses (MSBs) into Chapter 151 of the Texas Finance Code and repealed the Check Sales and Foreign Exchange Act. Holders of licenses and agents under Chapters 152 or 153 of the Texas Finance Code are considered MSBs under federal definition. In 1988, according to Article XVI, Section 16(c) of the Constitution, The Finance Commission approved a regulation authorizing branches throughout the state for state banks despite constitutional and legal provisions to the contrary.