News story

CMA consults on changes to merger process

The CMA is consulting on changes to 2 aspects of its merger investigation process.

signing papers

The changes, which follow a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review of the effectiveness of the merger notice form and initial enforcement orders (IEOs), are intended to streamline its process and reduce the requirements on businesses.

Initial enforcement orders

The first change involves the introduction of additional guidance in relation to the CMA’s use of IEOs. These are orders that may be put into place during its investigations to prevent merging companies from integrating in a way that could prejudice the outcome or impede the CMA’s ability to put in place any necessary remedies.

The guidance, which reflects experience gained since the current system was introduced in April 2014, is intended to provide further clarification in relation to:

  • the circumstances in which an IEO will typically be imposed;
  • the form that an IEO will typically take;
  • the types of derogations (which permit actions that would otherwise be in breach of an IEO) that the CMA is likely to grant; and
  • the timing for imposing and revoking IEOs and granting derogations.

The consultation on the draft guidance in relation to IEOs can be found here and views are invited until 12 April 2017.

Merger notice form

The second change involves a number of proposed amendments to the merger notice form that is used to notify a merger to the CMA. The revised merger notice is intended to provide additional guidance in relation to the information that is likely to be required by the CMA in a given case and, in particular, to clarify the circumstances in which it may not be necessary to provide certain information requested in the merger notice.

The consultation on the proposed amendments to the merger notice can be found here and views are invited until 12 April 2017.

Published 22 March 2017