Simplified Merger Notification Procedure Regime to commence on 1 July 2020

May 7, 2020

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has announced that a simplified merger notification procedure regime will officially commence on Wednesday 1 July 2020.

The CCPC considers that the simplified merger notification procedure will have a positive impact on businesses as review periods for mergers or acquisitions which do not raise significant competition concerns will be shorter. The introduction of a simplified merger notification procedure will reduce the time and resources required of businesses, as notifying parties will be exempt from providing certain information when filing mergers or acquisitions which do not raise significant competition concerns. The new simplified merger notification procedure will not replace the current procedure, but will facilitate more efficient review of mergers that do not raise competition concerns.

The Simplified Merger Notification Procedure Guidelines provide a detailed overview of the criteria that must be satisfied for a merger or acquisition to fall within the scope of the simplified merger notification procedure. They also set out the procedural provisions including: pre-notification discussions, the publication of notice of a notified proposed transaction, and the determination process under the simplified merger notification procedure.

The CCPC decided to introduce a simplified merger notification procedure following a public consultation period in November and December 2018 during which six written submissions were received. On foot of this, the CCPC published draft guidelines in October 2019 which involved additional consultation with various businesses and legal firms, many of whom have submitted documentation and suggested changes to the draft guidelines.

Commenting on the implementation of the new procedure, Brian McHugh, Member of the Commission said: “The simplified merger procedure regime is expected to deliver efficiency benefits for businesses through reduced notification requirements and will allow for speedier decision timelines. This is particularly the case where no competition issues arise. The new process is intended to reflect that the CCPC has taken on industry advice, worked with legal firms and businesses to develop the procedure and ensure that notifications will be dealt with as quickly as practical.  We would like to thank all of those who made submissions for their valuable contribution.

The CCPC will commence receiving notifications under the simplified merger notification procedure on Wednesday 1 July 2020, allowing sufficient time for notifying parties and their legal representatives to familiarise themselves with the new process. The CCPC is happy to engage with stakeholders on pre-notification discussions prior to this date.

For further information contact HanNie@ccpc.ie.  To receive alerts in relation to mergers, sign up here.

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