What is the basic timetable for the authority’s review?

Merger Control (4th edition)

Austria Small Flag Austria

The Austrian review process is divided into three phases: Phase I which is performed by the official parties; Phase II which takes place before the Cartel Court, and – in rare cases – Phase III before the Cartel Court of Appeals:

Phase I: Phase I takes typically four weeks. Within this period, the BWB and the FCP can apply for an in-depth examination to the Cartel Court. It starts to run with the receipt of the notification by the BWB. In Phase I, third party undertakings that consider their legal or economic interests affected by the concentration can submit written statements within two weeks as of the publication of a short notice on the concentration at the website of the BWB.

If the official parties waive their right to apply for Phase II proceedings or if they do not apply for such a proceeding within the four weeks’ deadline, the concentration is deemed cleared and the merger can be implemented. The official parties inform the notifying parties that no application for Phase II was filed (or indeed if they waive their right to request such proceedings). Besides, the BWB publishes a short notice on its website.

The vast majority of notified mergers are cleared that way without there being a reasoned clearance decisions.

The four week deadline in Phase I can be extended by two additional weeks upon request by the notifying parties.

Phase II: Phase II is initiated by the request of the BWB and/or the FCP. The opening of such in-depth examination is published on the website of the BWB. In practice, the official parties also apply for Phase II proceedings if concerns cannot be removed within the time period of Phase I or if they consider that the notification should be rejected all together (for lack of a notifiable merger). It may also be noted in this context that there is no ‘stop the clock’ mechanism for notifications regarded incomplete by the official parties.

Also in Phase II, third parties have the right to submit written statements to the Cartel Court.

Generally within five months after the receipt of the (first) application for an in-depth examination, the Cartel Court is to decide on the merits or to reject the notification. Upon request by the notifying party, the deadline within which the Cartel Court has to decide can be extended by one month to in total six months. Besides, the Cartel Court can issue an instruction to improve the notification within an appropriate deadline.

Phase III: A decision by the Cartel Court can be appealed to the Cartel Court of Appeals which triggers Phase III. This hardly ever occurs in practice. The Cartel Court of Appeals has to decide within two months after receiving the files.

China Small Flag China

Having received a notification, SAMR will first examine whether notification documents or materials are in compliance with the statutory formality requirement. If so, SAMR will initiate its review and send a notice to the notifying parties. If not, SAMR will request the notifying parties to make supplementary submissions or modifications, or provide clarifications or explanations. There is no statutory time limit for this examination period.

After the review being initiated, SAMR has 30 calendar days (Phase I) to conduct preliminary review of the notified concentration and make a decision whether to conduct further review. Where SAMR decides not to conduct further review or fails to make such a decision at the expiration of the 30 days, the business operators concerned may implement the concentration.

Where SAMR decides to conduct further review, it shall, within 90 calendar days from the date of the decision (Phase II), complete the further review, and make a decision whether to prohibit the concentration.

Under certain circumstances (see Question 20), SAMR may extend the period for review on condition that it informs the business operators of the extension in writing, and the extension shall not exceed a maximum of 60 calendar days (Phase III).

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

Within one calendar month from the date of submission of the notification or such additional information necessary for the notification to be considered complete and payment of the filing fee, , the Service is required to inform the notifying undertaking of whether the concentration is cleared or whether it will proceed to a full investigation of the concentration.

If, owing to the volume of work or the complexity of the information contained in the notification, the Service is unable to comply with the one month timeframe, it shall, within seven calendar days prior to the lapse of the one-month period, inform the notifying undertaking of an extension of fourteen calendar days.

In a phase II investigation, the Service is required to prepare a report of findings to the CPC within three months as of the date of submission of the notification or such additional information necessary for the notification to be considered complete , provided that the relevant filing fee is settled.

In the case of a full investigation, the notifying party or parties must be informed of the CPC’s decision no later than four months from the date of submission of the notification or such additional information necessary for the notification to be considered complete.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

The DCCA’s review is divided into a Phase I and a Phase II. Phase I begins once the notification has been deemed complete by the DCCA which includes, among other things, the receipt of the filing fee. See further about filing fees in Question 25.

If the parties submit a simplified notification form, the DCCA will have 10 business days to determine whether the merger meets the requirements for a simplified notification. If this is the case, the merger will be deemed com-plete at the expiry of the 10-day time limit at the latest. If necessary, the DCCA may request further information from the parties within the 10-day time limit. If the DCCA finds that the merger does not meet the require-ments, the parties must submit a full notification.
The DCCA will also have 10 business days to determine whether a full noti-fication is complete. If necessary, the DCCA may request the parties to submit further information within the 10-day time limit, in which case the merger will not be deemed complete until the DCCA receives this infor-mation (and perhaps further information as well).

Once the notification is deemed complete and Phase I commences, the DCCA will have 25 business days to determine whether the merger can be approved. Phase II begins if the DCCA decides to initiate further investigations of the merger. In Phase II, the DCCA will have 90 business days from the time of the decision to initiate further investigations to determine whether the merger should be approved or prohibited.

If the DCCA does not make a decision within the relevant time limit, this will be considered to be a decision to approve the merger.

In a recent case from February 2019, Royal Unibrew acquired sole control of Bev.Con Aps, the sole shareholder of Cult A/S. Both parties were active on the market for production, distribution and sale of energy drinks, “ready-to-drink” and cider in Denmark. Despite the parties’ high post-merger market shares (30-40 %), which caused the merger to undergo a Phase II investigation, the DCCA approved the merger unconditionally. The DCCA did not find that the merger would significantly impede competition as the market was dynamic with low entry barriers, low brand loyalty and constant introduction of new products.

Another merger which was approved with the reasoning that the parties were not close competitors was the merger between the two ferry services Molslinjen A/S and Danske Færger A/S. The merger underwent Phase II but the DCCA found that the merger would not result in significant changes to the competitive situation in the market and did not significantly impede competition.

Ecuador Small Flag Ecuador

In accordance with the Antitrust Law, the SCPM has to issue its decision with respect to the economic operation within a term of 60 working days from the date the SCPM acknowledges receipt of the submitted notification. The SCPM may suspend the term for up to 60 calendar days. In addition, the initial term of 60 working days may, on an exceptional basis, be extended for up to 60 working days. The SCPM usually takes about three months between the date of the notification of the economic operation and the date of the resolution. The economic concentration operation can neither be closed nor perfected until authorization from the SCPM is secured.

EU Small Flag EU

Phase I: 25 working days from receipt of complete notification, which can be extended to 35 working days if remedies are offered or a referral request is received from national competition authorities.

Phase II: 90 working days from the day that follows the decision to carry out an in-depth inquiry (6(1)(c) decision). This period is extended by 15 working days if the companies offered remedies after the 54th working day following the initiation of the in-depth inquiry.
The Phase II review period can be extended by a further 20 working days if requested by the notifying parties within 15 days of the opening of the in-depth investigation. Likewise, the Commission may extend the review period with the agreement of the notifying parties at any time following the initiation of proceedings, but the total combined duration of all extensions should not exceed 20 working days.

France Small Flag France

The basic clearance timetable for the FCA’s review is as follows:

Phase I (Article L.430-5 of the Code)
Within 25 working days from the date of receipt of a notification form considered complete (as assessed by the FCA[2]), the FCA may:

  • Issue a reasoned decision that the transaction does not fall within the scope of French merger control;
  • Issue a reasoned decision clearing the transaction, with or without remedies; or
  • Initiate an in-depth review of the transaction if serious doubts remain as to the anticompetitive effects thereof.

This period of 25 business days may be extended during Phase I for an additional 15 working days if the notifying parties submit commitments to remedy potential competition issues.

The FCA can also suspend the time limits of the phase I review, in two different cases:

  • At the parties' justified request, for a maximum of 15 business days, if needed for instance to finalize their proposed commitments; and/or
  • upon its own initiative ("stop-the-clock") if the notifying parties (i) fail to promptly inform the FCA of a new relevant and material fact, or (ii) fail to provide requested information within the allocated deadline. The time limits resume only when the cause for the suspension has been removed.

At the end of Phase I, the French Ministry has five business days to request the opening of a Phase II investigation (in-depth review).

A simplified procedure allows the parties to obtain clearance within a shorter time period (approx. 15 business days) if no competition issues are anticipated (see question 21).

Phase II (Articles L.430-6 and L.430-7 of the Code)
If, further to the Phase I review, the transaction still raises serious doubts as to potential anticompetitive effects, the FCA can initiate an in-depth review of the concentration.

Within 65 working days from the opening of the Phase II, the FCA may:

  • Authorize the concentration, with or without remedies; or
  • Prohibit the concentration.

Phase II can also be extended by 20 working days by the FCA if the parties submit or modify commitments fewer than 20 working days from the expiry of the 65-working-day deadline.

As is the case in Phase I, the FCA can also suspend the time limits of the Phase II review, in the same two cases. However, the maximum suspension period at the parties' request is then 20 working days.

Once a Phase II decision is issued, the Ministry of Economy has twenty-five working days to exert his power to review the case and issue a decision on the contemplated transaction.

[2] Should the notification form be deemed incomplete, the FCA may refuse to acknowledge the completeness of the notification file, and as a consequence the time period for the review of the case would not begin to run.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Most merger proceedings at the FCO are completed in phase one. Phase one can last a maximum of one month starting with the date of the submission of the complete notification. If the transaction does not raise competitive concerns, the FCO will clear it within phase one. This decision can’t be challenged by third parties. If the FCO doesn’t decide within this period, the merger is automatically presumed cleared. After phase one, the FCO may inform the parties that it has entered into phase two (“Hauptprüfungsverfahren”). In phase two, the FCO will investigate and assess the transaction in greater detail. Phase one and two may take up to four months total, starting with the day of the filing of the complete documentation. This timetable is binding, as after four months without any decision, the merger is presumed cleared.

If the parties missed to notify the transaction prior to closing, the transaction can be subject to a post-closing notice which contains the same information as the usual merger notification. The FCO will then examine the case at hand and either clear the transaction afterwards or order a de-merger. There is no statutory timetable for the review of such post-closing notices. In addition, the FCO may impose fines for disregarding duties to notify the transaction prior to closing.

India Small Flag India

The investigation into mergers and acquisitions by the CCI is in two phases:

Phase I - The CCI must issue a prima facie opinion on whether the transaction is likely to cause an AAEC within the relevant market in India within 30 working days from the date of notification. If the CCI finds that the transaction is unlikely to cause an AAEC, it will approve the transaction. The 30-day review period is referred to as Phase I.

The 30-day review period excludes the time taken by:

  1. The parties to provide additional information required by the CCI.
  2. The CCI to ask third parties for their views on the transaction
  3. Further, the review clock will stop if the CCI invalidates a notice for being substantially incomplete. The CCI can require the parties to file afresh resulting in resetting the review clock.

Phase II - If the CCI forms a prima facie opinion that the merger or acquisition is likely to cause an AAEC within the relevant market in India, the CCI can extend its review period until the full 210 calendar day statutory period (the Phase II review period) for an in-depth investigation.

A Phase II investigation involves the following steps:

  1. The CCI issues a show cause notice to the parties asking for an explanation as to why an investigation in to the combination (merger or acquisition) should not be conducted. The parties are given 30 calendar days to reply to this notice. After considering the parties’ response, the CCI can pass an order formally commencing the Phase II investigation process.
  2. After the CCI issues an order directing an in-depth investigation, the parties must publish non-confidential details of the transaction in four leading national daily newspapers and their own websites within ten working days of the CCI’s decision to investigate further. Third parties, including competitors, suppliers, customers and other market stakeholders are then invited to provide their views on the likely impact of the transaction within the relevant market within 15 working days of publication. Thereafter, within 15 working days from the expiry of the period, the parties can respond to these comments.
  3. After considering the response of the parties, the CCI passes an order within a period of 45 working days either:
  • approving the transaction;
  • disapproving the transaction; or
  • proposing modifications to the transaction.

Where the CCI proposes modifications to the transaction, the review timeline is extended by up to 60 working days for discussion on remedies. This extension is excluded from the 210-day review period.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

In an initial Phase 1 investigation, the CCPC has 30 working days (45 working days where commitments are offered) from the “appropriate date” as defined under the Competition Act to either clear the transaction or open a Phase 2 investigation. The “appropriate date” is the date of notification or, where the CCPC makes a formal request for information in writing (“RFI”) during Phase 1, the date on which the RFI is complied with.

In a full Phase 2 investigation, the CCPC has 120 working days from the “appropriate date” to make a Phase 2 determination. For example, provided the “appropriate date” is the date of notification (and is not reset by an RFI during Phase 1) and the CCPC takes the full 30 working days in Phase 1, the CCPC has a further 90 working days in Phase 2. If the CCPC makes an RFI during the first 30 working days of the Phase 2 process, the running of the clock is suspended until the request is complied with. Where remedies are offered, the timeline is extended to 135 working days.

In its Phase 2 determination, the CCPC may clear the transaction unconditionally, clear it subject to conditions being complied with, or prohibit the transaction.

Israel Small Flag Israel

The Israeli Competition Law sets out a 30 calendar-day period after filing notification for the review process to take place. If the Commissioner does not issue a decision within this time, it is seen as an approval.

The Israeli Competition Authority's average clearance period in 2018 was 22.5 days. In practice, the great majority of mergers are reviewed within the allocated 30-day period although the review of a complex merger may take up to several months.

The Commissioner must consult with the Advisory Committee Mergers and Exemptions prior to rendering her decision. Normally, the Committee convenes once in every one or two weeks, though in the past it has convened for urgent consultations.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

The review period is 30 days from the date of filing of the notification. If the KFTC requests additional information or materials during its review, the time period between the date when such request is made and the date when a response to such request is submitted will not be counted in calculating the review period.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

The basic timetable is as follows: (i) once the notification is filed, the agency will review the documents provided and may request the parties file any missing information within another 10 business days following receipt. This must be answered by the parties within the same period; (ii) once all the basic information has been provided, the authority may request additional information (from the parties and any third party) within 15 days following receipt, and this must also be filed within 15 business days; (iii) if all the information is duly filed, then the 60 business-day process will formally begin. In the event the agency does not resolve or clear the transaction within that period of time, it will be considered unrestricted and the concentration will be cleared.

Norway Small Flag Norway

Twenty-five business days after the filing of a complete notification is the lapse of phase I. Phase II shall be concluded within 70 business days after notification.
The more detailed timeline is as follows:

  1. 25 working days after receipt of the notification, the NCA must either clear the transaction or issue a Phase II notice (extended to 35 days if the parties offer remedies in phase I within the first 20 working days, which opens for phase I conditional clearance).
  2. 70 working days after receipt of the notification, the NCA must issue a draft notice of intervention (‘statement of objections’) against the transaction to the notifying party (extended correspondingly if the parties offer remedies between the 55th and 70th working days after receipt of the notification; e.g. the deadline is 71 working days if remedies are first offered on day 56 and so on). If it becomes clear that no such intervention is considered necessary, the NCA is under an obligation to clear the transaction as early as possible.
  3. 15 working days (95 days from notification) after receipt of the draft notice of intervention, the parties must issue their own comments on the draft to the NCA.
  4. 15 working days (110 days from notification) after having received the parties’ comments to the draft notice, the NCA must make its final decision in the matter.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

There may be two phases of review with corresponding waiting periods:

  1. a Phase I review runs for a maximum period of thirty (30) days; and
  2. a Phase II review runs for a maximum period of sixty (60) days.

[5]

Both phases involve the same review of the subject M&A. A Phase 1 review involves an assessment to determine if the notified merger raises any competition concerns under the PCA that would warrant a more detailed review.[6] A Phase II review is essentially an extension of the original thirty (30)-day period for the Phase I review, and is conducted when the PCC deems it necessary to obtain more information from the parties.[7]

The significance of these waiting periods is that Section 17, Paragraph 4, of the PCA explicitly provides that the expiration of the “waiting periods,” in the absence of any decision, results in constructive approval of the M&A involved. The said provision is likewise reiterated in Section 5(n), Rule 4 of the PCA IRR:

“(n) When the above periods have expired and no decision has been promulgated for whatever reason, the merger or acquisition shall be deemed approved and the parties may proceed to implement or consummate it.” [Emphasis supplied]

The law requires the PCC to inform the parties, within the thirty (30)-day period of the Phase I review if it needs “further information that are reasonably necessary and directly relevant” to determine whether the transaction shall “substantially prevent, restrict or lessen competition in the relevant market or in the market for goods or services as may be determined by the Commission”.[8]

Phase II commences on the day after the PCC’s request for information is received by the parties. Section 5(i), Rule 4 of the IRR sets forth the effects of the issuance by the PCC of the request for more information during the Phase I review, and these are outlined below:

  1. The issuance by the PCC of the request for more information or documents relevant to its review has the effect of extending the period within which the agreement may not be consummated for an additional sixty (60) days. The additional sixty (60) day period shall begin on the day after the request for information is received by the parties;
  2. In no case shall the total period for review by the PCC of the subject agreement exceed ninety (90) days from the time the initial notification by the parties is deemed complete;
  3. Should the parties fail to provide the requested information within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the said request, the notification shall be deemed expired and the parties must refile their notification; and
  4. Alternatively, should the parties wish to submit the requested information beyond the fifteen (15) day period, the parties may request for an extension of time within which to comply with the request for additional information, in which case, the period for review shall be correspondingly extended.

It must be emphasized that the PCC’s approval of a transaction is dependent on the actual contents of the submission. Parties to a proposed transaction under review are required to inform the PCC of any substantial modifications to the transaction. On the basis of the information provided, the PCC will determine if a new notification is required.[9] The PCC, in its discretion, may terminate a waiting period prior to its expiration.[10]

[5] Merger Review Procedure (2017), sec. 2.7.
[6] Merger Review Procedure (2017), sec. 2.7.
[7] Rep. Act No. 10667 (2015), sec. 17, par. 3;
[8] Rep. Act No. 10667 (2015), sec. 17, par. 3, in connection with sec. 20.
[9] PCA IRR (2016), Rule 4, sec. 5 (j).
[10] PCA IRR (2016), Rule 4, sec. 5 (l).

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

After receiving a notification and the respective proof of payment of the filing fee, the PCA has up to 7 business days to declare the notification as complete. After this declaration, there is a deadline of up to 5 business days to carry out the publication of the notice in 2 major newspapers (and on the PCA’s website), for third party observations. Third parties will have up to 10 business days to submit any observations (although in the vast majority of notifications there are no such observations).

In Phase I, the PCA concludes proceedings within 30 business days from the date that the notification becomes effective.

In Phase II (in-depth investigation), the PCA concludes the investigation within no more than 90 business days following the date the notification became effective.

Where a decision has not been reached within the time limit, a tacit non-opposition decision is deemed to have been adopted.

Russia Small Flag Russia

The general term for review of the merger control application is 30 calendar days.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

When a notification is complete, the SCA shall within 25 working days review the concentration and decide whether the concentration should be cleared or whether a special investigation of the concentration shall be initiated (commonly referred to as “Phase I”). The SCA has the ambition to complete non-complex cases within 15 working days. If the SCA has received an offer regarding commitments from the parties to the concentration, the Phase I review can be extended with 10 extra working days.

If the SCA decides to initiate a special investigation (commonly referred to as “Phase II” review), the SCA has another three months to investigate the concentration and decide whether the concentration shall be prohibited or cleared. The Phase II investigation can be extended if the parties consent thereto or if there are special reasons for such an extension. If the SCA has not rendered a decision until the expiry of the Phase II investigation period, the concentration is considered to have been cleared.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

As mentioned above, the merger control procedure can be divided into two phases.

The first phase (initial review), in which the ComCo examines whether there are indications that the merger creates or strengthens a dominant position has to be completed within one month after receipt of the notification. The period begins on the day following receipt of the complete notification and expires the following month at the end of the same numerical day as the day upon which the period commences or – if this day does not exist in the following months – on the last day of such month. If the undertakings concerned do not receive notification within this one month period, the merger can be implemented without reservation.

The second phase (extended review), in which the ComCo verifies whether the concentration creates or strengthens a dominant position has then to be completed within four months.

Peru Small Flag Peru

The evaluation period of the merger or acquisition shall not exceed 30 working days. The Commission will likely extend the evaluation term for 30 more days if there is additional information to be requested to the Energy Sector Supervising Organism (OSINERGMIN) and/or the petitioner. Recently filed operations were finally decided in a range of 3 to 5 months.

The Bill establishes a fast track procedure, which allows operations that do not generate doubts about its impact on effective competition to be approved within 30 business days of being notified. If it raises serious concerns, a second phase of 90 business days, extendable for 30 more, will be initiated.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The Competition Board, upon its preliminary review (Phase I) of the notification will decide
either to approve, or to investigate the transaction further (Phase II). It notifies the parties of
the outcome within 30 calendar days following a complete filing. There is an implied approval
mechanism introduced with Article 10(2) of Law No. 4054 where a tacit approval is deemed if
the Turkish Competition Board (Board) does not react within 30 calendar days upon a
complete filing.

While the timing in the Law No.4054 gives the impression that the decision to proceed with
Phase II should be formed within 15 calendar days, the Competition Board generally uses
more than 15 calendar days to form their opinion concerning the substance of a notification,
and it is more sensitive about the 30 calendar days deadline on announcement.

If a notification leads to an investigation (Phase II), it changes into a fully-fledged investigation. Under Turkish law, the investigation takes about six months. In practice, only exceptional cases require a Phase II review, and most notifications obtain a decision within about 45 calendar days from the original date of notification.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

First-phase

The CMA is required to complete its first-phase investigation within 40 working days. This runs from:

  • in the case of notified mergers, the date on which the CMA confirms that the filing form is complete (which it will typically do within five working days of the date on which the notice is submitted); or
  • in the case of unnotified mergers (i.e., where the CMA decides to review a transaction on its own initiative), the date on which the CMA informs the parties that it has sufficient information to commence its first-phase investigation.

This 40 day period can be extended in the circumstances described in section 20 below. In particular, if the parties offer remedies during the first-phase investigation, an additional period for negotiation and finalisation of those remedies will apply.

Second-phase

Where a second-phase investigation is opened, the CMA must publish its report within 24 weeks from the date of reference, subject to the possible extensions described in section 20 below. If it proposes to impose remedies as a condition of clearance, it will have an additional period of 12 weeks (which can be extended by 6 weeks) to implement those remedies.

Ukraine Small Flag Ukraine

Normally, AMCU approval requires one to two months for review after an application was submitted.

As long as the AMCU State Commissioner does not reject the application due to a failure to meet the requirements specified by the AMCU, an application shall be accepted for consideration by the AMCU within 15 days after its receipt date.

The AMCU or its administrative board shall consider an application for approval of a concentration within 30 days after it is accepted for consideration.

United States Small Flag United States

Under the HSR Act, parties that meet the filing thresholds must file premerger notification forms and wait for the FTC or DOJ to review the transaction.

Once the parties have submitted their filings, FTC and DOJ staff consult on the filing and determine if the transaction warrants an initial review. If so, the matter is ‘cleared’ to the agency with more expertise in the relevant industry. The assigned agency then conducts a review of the transaction during the initial waiting period (30 calendar days following submission of the premerger notification filing or 15 calendar days for cash tender offers or certain bankruptcy transactions). The vast majority of reviewed transactions are allowed to proceed after the initial waiting period expires or is terminated. If, however, at the end of the initial waiting period, the reviewing agency believes the transaction raises competition issues that merit further review, the reviewing agency may extend the waiting period by issuing a Second Request. On average, the FTC and DOJ issue a Second Request in less than five percent of filed transactions. When a Second Request is issued, the HSR waiting period is extended until 30 calendar days (10 days for cash tender offers and certain bankruptcies) following both parties’ certification of substantial compliance with the Second Request.

As a practical matter, parties typically require several months to be in a position to substantially comply with a Second Request, due to production of potentially hundreds of thousands of internal documents and extensive sales, marketing, and production data. While the parties are complying with the Second Request or shortly after substantial compliance with the Second Request, the agencies may also notice depositions (known as investigational hearings at the FTC) of company executives and third party customers, competitors, and suppliers.

The agencies encourage the parties to negotiate the scope of a Second Request and the timing of substantial compliance, as well as the reviewing agency’s timing to reach a decision. The FTC announced a new model timing agreement in August 2018, and FTC leadership has continued to stress the FTC’s recommendation that parties execute the model timing agreement.

In practice, the agency’s review is usually negotiated between the parties and the reviewing agency to extend beyond the second 30-calendar-day period after substantial compliance. At the end of the second waiting period, the reviewing agency must decide whether to close the investigation and allow the transaction to proceed, enter into a negotiated settlement with the parties, or challenge the transaction in federal district court (and, if the FTC is reviewing the transaction, through its administrative process). Depending on the complexity of the industry and the proposed transaction, it can take approximately 12 months from premerger notification to an agency filing in district court to block a transaction.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Within 30 calendar days from notification (15 calendar days in case of public bids), the ICA must decide whether to clear the transaction or start an in-depth investigation. The duration of such in-depth investigation is of 45 calendar days (which can be extended by additional 30 calendar days).

In the final decision, the ICA can (i) find that the transaction does not fall within Italian merger control rules (e.g., because it does not qualify as a concentration or the jurisdictional thresholds are not met); (ii) unconditionally clear the transaction; or (iii) clear the transaction with remedies; (iv) prohibit the transaction.

In case of concentrations between companies active in the insurance sector, the ICA must request a (non-binding) opinion of the insurance regulatory authority (IVASS). The opinion shall be issues within 30 calendar days. In the meanwhile, the deadline for ICA’s review of the transaction is suspended.

Acquisitions of banks shall be assessed within 60 calendar days upon the receipt of a complete notification, with no distinction between phase I and in-depth investigation.

Greece Small Flag Greece

Following review of the notified concentration, the HCC may proceed to the following actions:

a) In case the HCC considers that the notified concentration does not fall within the scope of Article 6 par.1 of the Merger Control Legislation,as set out above, the Chairman of the HCC issues a relevant act within one (1) month from receipt of a complete notification.

b) In case the HCC considers that, although the notified concentration, falls within the scope of Article 6 par.1 of the Merger Control Legislation, it does not raise any serious doubts as to its compatibility with competition law requirements in the relevant markets, the HCC approves the concentration within one (1) month from receipt of a complete notification. (Phase I)

c) In case the HCC considers that the concentration raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with competition law in the relevant markets, the Chairman of the HCC initiates the procedure of full investigation of the notified concentration within one (1) month from receipt of a complete notification and informs without delay the undertakings concerned of its decision (Phase II Process). From the date of notification of the undertakings concerned for the initiation of the full investigation procedure of the notified concentration, the undertakings may jointly agree amendments to the notified concentration or may offer remedies with a view to rendering the concentration compatible with competition law in the relevant markets and shall notify such amendments or remedies to the HCC.

If a Phase II Process is opened, the notified concentration shall be brought before the HCC within forty-five (45) days from the date of the initiation of such Phase II Process. The HCC must decide within ninety (90) days from the date of the initiation of the Phase II Process, either to oppose the concentration, if it considers that it substantially restricts competition, or otherwise to approve it. In case such ninety-day period lapses without the HCC having issued a decision, it will be deemed to have approved the concentration and will be obliged to issue the relevant administration act, as unconditionally cleared by the HCC.

Whereas the vast majority of mergers notified to the HCC are cleared in Phase I, there have recently been a number of Phase II merger decisions concerning complex competition issues (i.e. vertical restraints, unilateral and coordination effects etc.), some of which led to the agreement by the undertakings concerned to provide remedies for securing clearance.

Updated: November 11, 2019