Are there any circumstances in which the review timetable can be shortened?
Merger Control (3rd edition)
As noted, Phase I proceedings may be shortened by approx. one and a half weeks if the official parties waive their right to apply for an in-depth examination. In practice, the BWB and FCP are willing to do so, if the deadline for third parties to submit statements has expired (two weeks upon publication of the concentration plus some days for postal delivery) and provided their examination of the concentration results in no concerns.
Such waivers are at the discretion of the official parties. In any case, the applicant has to substantiate the urgency of a fast conclusion of the proceedings.
The Competition Act or FNE’s Guidelines do not indicate circumstances in which the review timetable can be shortened. However, the Competition Act sets maximum days and the FNE has the faculty to render its decision in a shorter period of time. In fact, it has done so in several occasions.
Neither Law No. 4054 nor Communiqué No. 2010/4 foresees a ‘fast-track’ procedure to speed up the clearance process. Aside from close follow-up with the case handlers reviewing the transaction, the parties have no available means to speed up the review process.
In general it can be expected that the formal review timetable will be shortened if the parties initiate pre-notification discussions with the DCCA. However, the actual total processing time is probably largely unaffected, as a good part of the DCCA’s review is simply performed during the pre-notification stage.
The CCPC does not have a formal process for shortening its review period, but it is also not obliged to take the full 30 working day investigation period at Phase 1 or the full 120 working day investigation period at Phase 2 to reach its determination and clear transaction. In practice, the CCPC regularly clears transactions in advance of the expiry of the maximum timeframe allowed for under the Competition Act (in 2017, the average time to clear Phase 1 transactions was 24 working days), although this depends on the nature of the transaction and the workload of the CCPC at a particular point in time.
There is no mechanism envisaged for the expedition of the assessment timetable. The completeness level of the notification is the only catalyst towards facilitating a smooth assessment, subject always to the Service’s workload and the statutory timeframe.
In less complex cases, the parties may receive the clearance decision before the expiration of Phase I. However, there is no accelerated procedure or right to obtain clearance in a shorter period.
Yes. In simpler deals, the NCA usually clears before the formal deadline.
The PCC, in its discretion, may terminate a waiting period prior to its expiration.
There are no legal grounds for shortening the review period of the merger control application. In practice this term can be shortened if FAS is satisfied with the documents provided and has no additional questions, although this also depends on the potential impact of the transaction on competition in the relevant market.
The French merger control regime does not provide for any “shorter” review timetable.
However, the Guidelines provide that the benefit of the "simplified" procedure allows the parties to obtain the transaction’s clearance within a shorter time period (in average, after 15 working days).
While such "simplified" procedure is only available to this day in limited cases (no overlaps on either the same market or upstream, downstream or related markets), the FCA has indicated that it was considering extending this proceeding to other transactions on the basis of market share thresholds.
Neither the Act nor the regulations promulgated thereunder provide for the shortening of the review timetable.
Either party to a reportable transaction may request that the waiting period be terminated before the statutory HSR waiting period expires. This is known as a request for ‘early termination’ and requires the filing person to mark the appropriate section of the HSR form. A request for early termination may be granted where one party to a transaction makes the request but the other does not. A party may also request early termination after filing, while the waiting period is still open, by sending letters to both agencies making a request for early termination. Similarly, parties may rescind a request for early termination by sending letters to both agencies.
A request for early termination will only be granted after the review of the filing has been completed and both agencies have determined not to take any enforcement action. Therefore, a transaction presenting no competitive concerns is more likely to receive early termination than a transaction with substantive overlaps.
There is no set time period for granting early termination – early termination may be granted as early as approximately one week after filing or not at all. While not required, in practice, if parties are requesting an expedited early termination determination (i.e., a decision by a certain date or if receiving early termination is critical), such a request should be included and explained in the transaction description found in item 3(a) of the HSR form.
All grants of early termination are published on the FTC’s website in the early terminations index and in the Federal Register, which provides the issued transaction number, the date early termination was granted, and the names of the acquiring and acquired persons.
The timetable is defined by law and cannot be shortened.
Law does not provide regulations or specify circumstances under which the review timetable may be shortened by the FCO in advance leading to any kind of “fast-track” review. A decision may, of course, be issued before the time runs out if the workload of the FCO permits.
The Greek Competition Act does not provide for any shortenings of the afore-mentioned deadlines.
There are no specific circumstances under which the timetable can be shortened. However, straightforward cases, such as those filed under the Simplified Form, and where there are no observations from third interested parties, are likely to be cleared by the PCA before the Phase I deadline expires.
The JFTC may shorten the 30-day waiting period if a party files a request in writing and it is clear that the transaction may not substantially restrain competition in any relevant market, such as where the transaction falls into the safe harbour provided by the JFTC’s guidelines. In FY 2017, the JFTC agreed to shorten the 30-day waiting period for 193 cases out of 306 cases notified in that period.
There is no provision for shortening the statutory period of 210 days. However, the CCI at its own volition may arrive at a decision prior to the expiry of the 210 days period.
There are no formal mechanisms for shortening the review period. However, the CMA may be prepared to give early clearance in cases where no competition concerns arise and where the parties can demonstrate a credible and urgent need for early clearance.
In addition, if a transaction gives rise to complex issues such that a second-phase investigation is likely, the CMA may exceptionally, at the parties' request, agree to make a referral on an accelerated timetable or 'fast track', if there is sufficient evidence available to meet the CMA’s statutory threshold for reference.
Due to internal decision-making procedures, it is not possible to shorten the 25 working day review period significantly. If there exist merger-specific reasons for a swift clearance, the Commission may be able to shorten the process by a few working days.