Are there any circumstances in which the review timetable can be shortened?

Merger Control (3rd edition)

Austria Small Flag Austria

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.

Chile Small Flag Chile

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.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

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.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

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.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

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.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

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.

Italy Small Flag Italy

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.

Norway Small Flag Norway

Yes. In simpler deals, the NCA usually clears before the formal deadline.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

The PCC, in its discretion, may terminate a waiting period prior to its expiration.

Russia Small Flag Russia

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.

France Small Flag France

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.

South Africa Small Flag South Africa

Neither the Act nor the regulations promulgated thereunder provide for the shortening of the review timetable.

United States Small Flag United States

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.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

The timetable is defined by law and cannot be shortened.

Germany Small Flag Germany

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.

Greece Small Flag Greece

The Greek Competition Act does not provide for any shortenings of the afore-mentioned deadlines.

Peru Small Flag Peru


Portugal Small Flag Portugal

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.

Japan Small Flag Japan

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.

India Small Flag India

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.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

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.

EU Small Flag EU

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.

Israel Small Flag Israel

The Commissioner will issue her decision once the Israeli Antitrust Authority's review has been completed, even before the 30-day review period elapses.

In 2016 The Israeli Antitrust Authority publicised a "Bright Green Merger" review track, whereby a review may be completed within a timeframe much shorter than the formal 30-day period, based mainly on the information included in the filings themselves.

For a merger to be reviewed under the "Bright Green Merger" track, the following conditions must apply:

  • The merger clearly does not raise reasonable concerns of competitive harm.
  • The parties use the full merger notification form and not the abbreviated one.
  • The parties include in their filing detailed additional information to help analyse the merger's competitive effects, preferably based on objective resources such as industry surveys.
  • The merger notification is signed by the CEO or chief internal legal counsel of the company. The merger notification will also represent that any information included in the merger notification cover letter, detailing the parties’ competitive arguments, is correct.

China Small Flag China

Simplified procedures may be applied to concentration of business operators which is qualified as a simple case. Most of the simple cases are cleared within the period of preliminary review, i.e. 30 calendar days from the registration of the case, although there is no mandatory requirement in this regard.

A transaction of concentration of business operators shall be considered a simple case if it falls under any of the following circumstances:

(1) Where in the same relevant market, the total market shares of all business operators participating in the concentration is less than 15%;

(2) Where an upstream-downstream relationship exists among the business operators participating in the concentration, and the market share of such business operators in both the upstream and the downstream markets is less than 25%;

(3) Where the business operators participating in the concentration are neither in the same relevant market nor have any upstream-downstream relationship, and their market share in each market relevant to the concentration is less than 25%;

(4) Where the business operators participating in the concentration intend to establish a joint venture outside the territory of China, and the joint venture will not engage in any economic activities within the territory of China;

(5) Where the business operators participating in the concentration intend to acquire the equity or assets of an overseas enterprise, and the overseas enterprise does not engage in any economic activities within the territory of China; or

(6) Where a joint venture jointly controlled by two or more business operators will be controlled by one or more of the existing business operators after the concentration.

Under either the simplified or non-simplified procedures, the notifying parties may inform SAMR of the urgency for closing the concentration with good cause and request SAMR to clear the concentration at its earliest convenience. In many cases, SAMR will accommodate such requests and make the clearance decision ahead of the statutory deadline.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

The competition law has strict requirements to apply for a fast track clearance process which is applicable when the acquiring party has no participation in the relevant market, or is not an existing or potential competitor of the acquired party and, in addition, any of the following circumstances concur: (i) the transaction will be the acquiring party’s first time participating in the relevant market (the relevant market’s structure shall not be modified); (ii) prior to the transaction, the acquiring party does not hold control over the acquired entity, and as a consequence of the transaction, the former increases its relative participation in relation to the latter, without attaining more power to influence the target company; or (iii) the party acquiring capital stock has control of a company and as a consequence it increases its relative participation in the company’s capital structure.

Updated: March 18, 2019