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Public consultations

Consultation on the application of the EC Merger Regulation

Policy field

Competition (merger control)

Target group

Business community and their representatives as well as other stakeholders including industry associations and consumer interest associations who have had direct experience of the implementation of the Regulation.

Period of consultation

From 28.10.2008 to 01.12.2008

Objective of the consultation

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the functioning of the EC Merger Regulation (Council Regulation 139/2004), which sets out the rules for merger control in the European Economic Area (EEA).

One of the major achievements of the revised EU Merger Regulation, which took effect on 1 May 2004, was to strengthen the one-stop-shop for the control of mergers while at the same time ensuring that they are reviewed by the best placed competition authority. While the turnover thresholds for determining jurisdiction remained the same as under the previous Regulation, flexible mechanisms were introduced to enhance the possibilities for case re-allocation between the Commission and the Member States.

The referral mechanisms introduced in 2004 gave the merging parties the right to request the Commission to examine a transaction that was notifiable in at least three Member States, even when the thresholds for Commission review were not met. Conversely, the notifying parties were given the right to request a referral to the Member States when the transaction significantly affected competition in a market in that Member State if it presented all the characteristics of a distinct market.

The purpose of the consultation is to evaluate how the rules on jurisdictional thresholds and referral mechanisms have worked in practice during the fours years the Regulation has been applied.

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from the business community and their representatives as well as other stakeholders including industry associations and consumer interest associations who have had direct experience of the implementation of the Regulation.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. However, information which is clearly marked "confidential" will be treated as such. You are kindly requested to identify them in your reply by putting them in a separate annex. You may alternatively consider providing a non-confidential version of your reply, which is the Commission’s preferred option.

It is also important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with. The Commission asks organisations who wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions. Consultation Standards and Communication on European Transparency Initiative, follow up).

If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation: if you your organisation is listed in the register of interest representatives, please indicate the name and address of your organisation and your Register ID number on the first page of your contribution. Your contribution will then be considered as representing the views of your organisation. If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to register now. Which organisations are expected to register? Read point 2 of the frequently asked questions on the register of interest representatives .

Submissions can be addressed to the Commission by post at:

European Commission
DG Competition
Merger Registry
Ref.: HT.1277 – reply to public consultation
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

or by e-mail at:

Ref.: HT.1277 – reply to public consultation

View the consultation document

Questionnaire en / en (RTF format)

Press release IP/08/1591 Mergers: Commission opens consultations on review of Merger Regulation

Reference documents and other, related consultations

Links to relevant legislative texts are available on Mergers legislation page.

Reason why the consultation period is less than 8 weeks

Due to the limited scope of the consultation, less then 8 weeks is deemed sufficient.

View the contributions

Protection of personal data Specific privacy statement

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