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CC and OFT publish quick guide on merger assessment

The Competition Commission (CC) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have today jointly published a quick guide to help businesses understand what to expect from the competition authorities when they investigate a merger. 

The publication complements the detailed joint Merger Assessment Guidelines (pdf 710kb), which were published by the CC & OFT in September 2010.

The quick guide outlines what merging companies can expect, from the earliest stages of the process onwards. It covers issues such as whether to notify the authorities; the different roles of the OFT & CC; which mergers are reviewed and when they might be referred for a full investigation by the CC - before going on to cover briefly the merger assessment process and possible use of remedies later on. 

Alison Oldale, Chief Economist at the Competition Commission said:

'We are aware that not all companies will be familiar with how mergers are assessed in the UK and we hope that they will find this short guide on what to expect from the process instructive and useful.'

Sheldon Mills, Director of Mergers at the OFT said:

'Mergers can bring benefits to the economy and help businesses and markets grow. Many are pro-competitive or have a benign effect on competition. However, some can harm competition and result in, for example, higher prices, reduced quality or choice for consumers or reduced innovation. We hope that this joint publication will meet the demands of companies and their advisers for a simple guide to how the UK merger regime addresses these issues.'


  1. Today's publication, 'A Quick Guide to UK Merger Assessment', is available at or
  2. Under the Enterprise Act 2002 a relevant merger situation is created if two or more enterprises have ceased to be distinct enterprises; and the value of the turnover in the United Kingdom of the enterprise being taken over exceeds £70 million; or as a result of the transaction, in relation to the supply of goods or services of any description, a 25 per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) is created or enhanced. 
  3. The OFT is the UK's combined competition and consumer authority. In relation to merger activity, it obtains and reviews information and, where necessary, refers any relevant mergers to the CC for further investigation. 
  4. The CC is an independent public body, which carries out investigations into mergers, markets, and the regulated industries.  
  5. The detailed Merger Assessment Guidelines are available on the Competition Commission website
  6. Enquiries should be directed by e-mail to Rory Taylor ( or Siobhan Allen ( at the CC on 020 7271 0242 or Frank Shepherd ( at the OFT on 020 7211 8133

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