Mergers: Commission seeks feedback on proposed simplification measures regarding merger procedures
The European Commission recently (06 May 2022) launched a public consultation inviting all interested parties to comment on the draft revised Merger Implementing Regulation (‘Implementing Regulation') and the Notice on Simplified Procedure.
In August 2016, the Commission launched a thorough review process of the merger procedural and jurisdictional rules. The aim of this process is to target and simplify the Commission's merger review process for cases that are unlikely to raise competition concerns which are treated under the simplified procedure, and to focus resources on the most complex and relevant cases. This process included an evaluation of the procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control rules and a public consultation on an Inception Impact Assessment.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, recently said:
“Our initiative aims to further ease administrative burden on both businesses and the Commission and will allow us to focus resources on the mergers that merit a detailed investigation. We invite all parties to provide us with their comments on our draft revised rules, which will feed into the preparation of the new rules planned to enter into force in 2023.”
The proposed changes
As set out in more detail in the background note accompanying the Implementing Regulation and the Notice on Simplified Procedure, the proposed changes aim to:
- Expand and clarify the categories of cases that can be treated under the simplified procedure;
- Introduce refined safeguards so that the simplified procedure does not apply to cases that merit a more detailed review;
- Ensure effective and proportionate information gathering, by introducing a new notification form for simplified cases, in a “tick-the-box” format;
- Streamline the review of non-simplified cases by reducing and clarifying information requirements;
- Introduce electronic notifications and the possibility for the parties to submit certain documents electronically.
Interested parties are invited to submit their comments on the draft rules by 3 June 2022.
More information including on how to submit a contribution is available here.
Based on the evidence gathered during the impact assessment phase and the comments by the interested parties on the Implementing Regulation and the Notice on Simplified Procedure, the Commission will finalise the impact assessment and revise further the drafts published recently. The Commission aims having new rules in place in 2023.
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