CCPC publishes Merger & Acquisition Report 2020

January 5, 2021

The CCPC has published its annual merger report including statistics on the number of mergers and acquisitions notified and decided in 2020.

All mergers and acquisitions which reach certain financial thresholds must be notified to the CCPC to examine whether any potential transaction could result in the substantial lessening of competition in markets for goods and services in the State.

2020 statistics
41 mergers were notified in 2020 (a 13% decrease from 2019).
43 determinations were issued, 1 of which required commitments to secure approval.
15 notifications required an extended Phase 1 review, 2 of which required a Phase 2 investigation.
Information & Communications and Healthcare were the most prominent sectors for notifications.
22.9 working days was the average time for a determination on a non-extended Phase 1 investigation to issue.

In March 2020, in response to Covid-19, the CCPC put in place processes to ensure business continuity in the review of notified mergers and acquisitions. These measures included:

  • Accepting electronic notification of mergers where notification forms can be completed and returned to CEM via email.
  • Reviewing mergers almost entirely through remote working.
  • Extending deadlines for responses to RFIs under formal powers.
  • The CCPC obtained designation as a statutory body that can conduct remote oral hearings in Phase 2 mergers.

On 1 July 2020, a simplified merger notification procedure (SMP) commenced to reduce the time and resources required of businesses. The CCPC’s decision to introduce such a procedure was informed by a public consultation held in late 2018.

Notifying parties are now exempt from providing certain information when filing mergers or acquisitions which do not raise significant competition concerns. To date, the CCPC has cleared seven mergers under the SMP with an average time of 13.4 working days to issue a Phase 1 decision.

Commenting on the publication of the 2020 statistics, Brian McHugh, Commission Member said:

“Covid-19 has impacted nearly all areas of society and indeed it also impacted the number of mergers notified and review processes. The CCPC moved quickly and introduced a number of measures to ensure our work continued in an efficient manner. In addition, we continuously monitor and carefully assess the impact and potential future impacts of Covid-19 on the merger review regime.

The CCPC will continue to work at a European level to ensure the merger review regime continues to deliver a competitive market where consumers are protected from outcomes that could lead to higher prices or lower quality goods and services.”

A copy of the CCPC’s Merger & Acquisition Report for 2020 is available here

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