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Merger simplification package of the Commission

On 05 December 2013 the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted the package to simplify its procedures for reviewing concentrations und the European Merger Regulation (“ECMR”), which has been applicable since 01.01.2014. The Commission also reduced the scope of required documents for all the notification procedures.

The Commission applies the simplified procedure for mergers that raise no competitive concerns. Through the adopted simplification package, the scope of application of the simplified procedure will be extended to mergers between competitors with a combined market share of up to 20% (previously just 15%).

The market share thresholds for mergers between suppliers and manufacturers or in any other vertical relationship were increased by 5%. Thus, the simplified procedure is now applicable for vertical mergers with a combined market share of up to 30%.  

According to the simplification package, the simplified procedure will also be applicable for mergers, where the combined share is between 20% and 50%, if the increment of market shares after the transaction will be considered low.

Companies that apply for a referral of the review from the Commission to a Member State and vice versa now have to provide considerably less information than previously. In very clear cases companies will also be able to notify the concentration directly to Member States.  

This “simplification package” shall extend the scope of application of the simplified procedure to all unproblematic mergers, thus to 60% - 70% of notified concentrations. A considerable relief for companies and their advisors regarding the preparation and for the associated costs of a notification is expected.  

Authors:

Dr. Christina Hummer
Ori Kahn