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The approach to assessing whether control is acquired through veto rights or on a de facto basis is largely the same as set out under the CJN. Section 16 4 of the Competition Act provides that the creation of a joint venture to perform, on a lasting basis, all the functions of an autonomous economic entity constitutes a merger or acquisition. In interpreting this provision, the CCPC generally follows the approach of the European Commission on full-function joint ventures under the EU Merger Regulation and, in particular, the approach to the analysis of full-functionality set out in the CJN.

Where a joint venture does not qualify as full-function, it may still be assessed under the rules on restrictive agreements under Section 4 of the Competition Act, which are in all material respects identical to those under Article of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. A merger or acquisition as defined in the Competition Act will be notifiable if the following thresholds are met in the most recent financial year of each undertaking involved:.

Subject to parliamentary approval it is proposed to increase the thresholds for merger control effective from 1 January From that date a merger or acquisition as defined in the Competition Act will be notifiable if the following thresholds are met in the most recent financial year of each undertaking involved:. For the purposes of the Competition Act thresholds, on the acquirer side, the turnover of the entire group to which the acquiring entity belongs is taken into account. On the target business side, only the turnover of the target business is relevant, i.

For example, in an acquisition of sole control, the turnover to be taken into account is the turnover of the entire group to which the acquiring entity belongs and the turnover of the target business alone. In acquisitions of joint control, the undertakings involved are each of the parties on a group basis acquiring and, where relevant, maintaining joint control and, if the target is a pre-existing company, the target company. The CCPC considers that this approach applies equally to the turnover of credit and financial institutions and, therefore, it does not follow the approach under the EU Merger Regulation to the geographic allocation of turnover of such institutions.

With the exception of media mergers, which fall to be assessed under the Competition Act regardless of whether the turnover-based thresholds are met or not, the thresholds do not vary depending on the industry sector. Any merger or acquisition which meets the turnover thresholds set out in the Competition Act must be notified to the CCPC, regardless of whether or not an overlap arises. However, given the relevant turnover to be taken into account is the turnover in the State of the undertakings involved, the jurisdiction of Irish merger control rules is primarily targeted at transactions with a nexus to Ireland.


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In addition to meeting the turnover-based thresholds under the Competition Act, Section 18 of the Competition Act provides that a merger may be notifiable if it falls within a class of merger or acquisition that has been specified in an Order by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. To date, the Minister has specified that all media mergers as described in more detail below are notifiable to the CCPC, regardless of the turnover of the undertakings involved. Part 3A of the Competition Act provides that media mergers may be assessed on the basis of their impact on the plurality of views in the media.

In June , the Minister for Communications adopted guidelines on the assessment of media mergers.

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In line with information required under the guidelines, the Minister has issued a specific notification form on which media mergers must be notified. To date, no order has been made by the Minister for Communications prohibiting a media merger from being put into effect. The BAI reported on the proposed merger on 9 May , recommending that the merger be permitted to proceed subject to conditions.

However, the parties ultimately withdrew from the proposed merger. Transactions that involve the staggered acquisition of control in stages are notifiable to the CCPC once a party has acquired control. While the CCPC has not issued any specific guidance in relation to assessing mergers that are structured in stages, its approach generally follows that of the European Commission as set out in the CJN.

Prior to reform of the merger control rules in , notifications had to be made within one month of the conclusion of the agreement or the making of the public bid. This deadline no longer applies. There are no such exceptions, i. Are there any formal sanctions? Knowing and willful failure to notify a notifiable merger or acquisition is a criminal offence.

Generally, it is not possible to carve-out local completion of a merger or acquisition, and any transaction put into effect prior to receipt of clearance by the CCPC is void and unenforceable under Irish law. The position under the Competition Act is that this exception does not apply to transactions involving the future onward sale of the business to an ultimate buyer in circumstances where the ultimate buyer bears the major part of the economic risk.

Turkey: Merger Control

What are the main stages in the regulatory process? Can the timeframe be suspended by the authority? The Competition Act sets out a two-phase process for the review of notifiable mergers and acquisitions. An RFI during Phase I therefore has the effect of resetting the working-day review timetable and failure to comply with an RFI is a criminal offence. The Phase I period is automatically extended to 45 working days where remedy proposals are made by the notifying parties to overcome competition concerns.

The deadline by which the CCPC must issue a Phase II determination may be extended from to working days where proposals to address competition concerns are made by the parties. Unlike the practice of the European Commission, in most cases, the CCPC does not require the parties to engage in extensive or detailed pre-notification discussions prior to submission of the notification.

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However, parties to a merger or acquisition are free to request a pre-notification meeting with the CCPC to discuss jurisdictional issues, as well as any other legal issues that may arise. The CCPC has stated that it welcomes the opportunity to have such discussions. What are the risks in completing before clearance is received? A notified merger which is put into effect prior to a clearance determination is void as a matter of Irish law.

Closing after notification but prior to receipt of clearance is not a criminal offence.

However, any person who fails to observe a determination of the CCPC or commitments decision or any person who aids, abets or assists another person, or conspires with another person to contravene such determination or commitment decision is guilty of an offence, and may be liable:. In those cases, the parties agreed to notify the transaction in question and, in those circumstances, the CCPC did not pursue the imposition of fines for failure to notify.

The notification form sets out the scope of information required from the parties, which includes a detailed description of the undertakings involved and the rationale for the proposed transaction, an analysis of the horizontal overlaps and vertical relationships arising, definitions of the relevant product and geographic markets, the market shares of the parties and their competitors in relevant markets, and the views of the parties as to the effect of the transaction on competition in the State.

The Minister for Communications has also prescribed a specific form for the notification of media mergers to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Are there any informal ways in which the clearance timetable can be speeded up? There is no short form version of the CCPC notification form.

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What are the Requirements to File a Concentration Under the European Merger Control Rules?

However, in cases where no material overlaps or competition issues arise, the notifying parties may request waivers from the CCPC in respect of certain detailed information required in the notification in particular, in Section 4 concerning the areas of horizontal overlap and vertical relationships. The CCPC does not have a formal process for shortening its review period, but it is also not obliged to take the full working-day investigation period at Phase I or the full working-day investigation period at Phase II to reach its determination and clear the transaction.

In practice, the CCPC regularly clears transactions more quickly than the maximum timeframe allowed for under the Competition Act. According to its most recent Annual Report for , the average time to clear Phase I transactions was 24 working days down marginally from 26 working days in , although the review timeframe will depend on the nature of the transaction and the workload of the CCPC mergers division at that particular point.


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In practice, most notifications are submitted jointly. An announcement to make a public bid by one of the undertakings involved, or the making of a public bid that has yet to be accepted, is a trigger for making a notification to the CCPC. In the case of a public bid, the transaction may also be notified by the purchaser alone. However, there are otherwise no special rules applicable to public offers for listed businesses.

The notification itself is confidential and will not be published by the CCPC. However, the CCPC will publish a notice that a transaction has been notified within seven days of receipt of the notification. This notice will provide basic details about the transaction, namely the parties, the industry sector involved, the details of the case officer assigned to the review and an invitation for third parties to comment typically within 10 working days. The CCPC will publish the text of a determination on its website at the earliest possible date and in any event, within two months of the date of the determination after allowing the undertakings involved an opportunity to indicate any information that the parties consider to be confidential and should be redacted.

The CCPC has stated that the SLC test must be applied in terms of the effect that the proposed merger or acquisition would have on consumer welfare which, in its view, refers to a range of variables including price, output, quality, variety and innovation. In particular, the CCPC relies heavily on economic analysis in its substantive assessment of transactions.

In analysing whether the SLC test is met, the CCPC will first typically look to define relevant product and geographic markets by reference to demand-side and supply-side substitutability. It will then examine the impact of the transaction in relation to unilateral effects at the horizontal and vertical level, as well as the possibility of coordinated effects arising on relevant markets.

EC Merger Controls

The assessment will focus on the competitive constraints on the merged entity, including those exerted by competitors, customers and the threat of new entry or expansion. The CCPC will examine the effect on the price of affected products, but also other effects that may harm consumers, such as changes to output, quality, consumer choice and innovation e. The CCPC will move to Phase II if it is unable, on the basis of the information before it, to form a view that the result of the merger or acquisition will not be to substantially lessen competition during the Phase I period of 30 working days.

It is for the notifying parties to demonstrate that efficiencies arising from the transaction will be of sufficient size and scope to prevent a substantial lessening of competition arising. Notifying parties must therefore provide reliable evidence to show that any efficiencies that are directly achieved by the merger, cannot be achieved by another feasible means less restrictive of competition and will be achieved within a reasonable timeframe. All transactions notified to the CCPC are investigated by reference to whether or not a substantial lessening of competition would arise.

No other factors are taken into account.

Brexit: Merger Review Implications and Recommendations

Media mergers are subject to an additional review by the Minister for Communications, which assesses the impact of the transaction on plurality of the media in Ireland. The CCPC may, however, change the time limit for third-party submissions by notice on its website in individual cases if required. Submissions from third parties should clearly indicate any information that should be treated as confidential.

The CCPC will make reference to whether any third-party submissions were received in its determination. In addition to inviting submissions from third parties when posting notice of the transaction on its website, the CCPC merger notification form requires notifying parties to provide contact details for their top five customers, competitors and suppliers worldwide and in Ireland , as well as any trade associations of which the notifying parties are members.

It is open to the CCPC to contact these parties in the course of its investigation and to send them requests for information concerning the notified transaction, although it is under no obligation to do so. If a Phase II investigation is initiated, any third party is entitled to make submissions and the CCPC must consider all submissions received.