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Consultation on Evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control

Policy field

Competition: Merger control

Target group

The Commission invites interested stakeholders to respond to the public consultation, which is part of the Commission's evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control.

The Commission seeks feedback, among other stakeholders, from citizens, undertakings, industry and business organisations, consumer associations, professional associations and Member States' authorities.

Stakeholders in the digital economy and the pharmaceutical sector in particular are welcome to comment on the jurisdictional thresholds' section of the questionnaire (IV.2. Jurisdictional thresholds).

Consultation period

From 07.10.2016 until 13.01.2017

Objective of the consultation

Context

Merger control constitutes one of the instruments of EU competition law. It aims at ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted by corporate reorganisations in the form of concentrations. It is based on Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the “EU Merger Regulation”), its Implementing Regulation and related Notices and Guidelines. EU merger legislation can be found here.

In recent years (particularly in 2009 and from 2013 onwards), the European Commission has taken stock and assessed the functioning of different aspects of EU merger control and identified possible areas for refinement, improvement and simplification. In particular, the European Commission adopted in 2014 the White Paper "Towards More Effective EU merger control (the "White Paper"). Based on the White Paper, the Commission carried out a public consultation and the results of that public consultations can be accessed here.

Scope of the evaluation

Simplification and functioning of the case referral system: in light of the positive feedback on the White Paper's proposals on simplification and the European Commission's general objective to cut red-tape where possible, it appears appropriate to explore whether there is scope for further simplification of EU merger control. Similarly, the evaluation seeks feedback on the functioning of the case referral system between Member States and the Commission.

New issues – effectiveness of the turnover-based jurisdictional thresholds of the EU Merger Regulation: the EU Merger Regulation only applies to concentrations of a Union dimension, which are those where the undertakings concerned meet the relevant turnover thresholds. A debate has recently emerged on the effectiveness of these purely turnover-based jurisdictional thresholds, specifically on whether they allow to capture all transactions which can potentially have an impact in the internal market. This may be particularly significant in certain sectors, such as the digital and pharmaceutical industries, where the acquired company, while having generated little turnover as yet, may play a competitive role, hold commercially valuable data, or have a considerable market potential for other reasons.

Other technical aspects: recent experience in enforcing the EU Merger Regulation has shown the opportunity to evaluate certain technical aspects of the procedural and investigative framework for the assessment of mergers. Some of these aspects had already been identified in the 2014 Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the White Paper.

Please click here to access the questionnaire for public consultation and submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be fully published on this webpage, unless respondents choose an anonymised publication of their responses or do not authorise any publication of their responses.

Please note that we cannot guarantee to take account of replies received after the deadline. We would appreciate receiving documents in an electronic format.

View the consultation document

  • Questionnaire for public consultation: en http://ec.europa.eu/competition/images/pdf1.gif
  • Evaluation roadmap en http://ec.europa.eu/competition/images/pdf1.gif
  • Consultation strategy en http://ec.europa.eu/competition/images/pdf1.gif

Contact details

Responsible service: Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A2
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: Ref.: HT. 3053
e-mail: COMP-A2-MAIL@ec.europa.eu

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
Ref.: HT.3053
1049 Bruxelles / Brussel
Belgique /België

Replies to the consultation

Summary of replies

Public authorities
  • Austria - Austrian Federal Competition Authority en
  • Austria - Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy de
  • Czech Republic - Office for the Protection of Competition en - annex en
  • Czech Republic – Czech National Bank en
  • Denmark - The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority on behalf of the Danish Government en - annex en
  • France - Autorité de la concurrence fr - annex fr
  • France – Permanent Representation of France fr
  • Germany - Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie und Bundeskartellamt de - annex de
  • Germany - Monopolkommission en
  • Ireland - Irish Competition Authority en
  • Italy - Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) en - annex en
  • Netherlands - Dutch Competition Authority (ACM) en
  • Netherlands - Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs nl
  • Norway - Norwegian Government: Royal Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries en
  • Poland - Office for Competition and Consumer Protection) en
  • Slovak Republic - Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic en - annex en
  • Spain - Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia en
  • Spain - Catalan Competition Authority en - annex en
  • Sweden - Swedish Competition Authority en - annex en
  • United Kingdom - Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) en - annex en
  • United Kingdom – UK Government: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy en
Registered organisations

Law firms

  • Abreu Associados en
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer en - annex en
  • Jones Day en - annex en
  • Latham & Watkins en
  • LK Shields Solicitors en
  • Norton Rose Fulbright en
  • Simmons & Simmons LLP en

Companies

  • Adobe, Cisco and Oracle en - annex en
  • Cisco Systems Inc. en - annex en
  • CPPIB, AIMCO, OMERS, PSPIB, bcIMC, OTPP, CPDQ en - annex en
  • Enel Spa en
  • IBM en
  • Philips International B.V. en - annex en
  • Telefonica SA en - annex en

Associations

  • American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham) en - annex 1 en - annex 2 en
  • Application Developers Alliance en
  • Association des Avocats pratiquant le Droit de la Concurrence (APDC) en - annex en/fr
  • Association française des entreprises privées (AFEP) en - annex en
  • Association of in-house competition lawyers (ICLA) en
  • British Property Federation en - annex en
  • Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (The German Federal Bar) en - annex en
  • Business Europe en
  • Cercle de l'Industrie en - annex en
  • City of London Law Society Competition Law Committee en
  • Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) en - annex en
  • Confindustria Radio Televisioni it
  • DIGITALEUROPE en - annex en
  • European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) en - annex en
  • European Association of Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) en - annex en
  • European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) en - annex en
  • European Competition Lawyers Forum (ECLF) en - annex en
  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) en - annex en
  • European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association en - annex en
  • Federation of Enterprises in Belgium en - annex fr
  • Federation of German Industries (BDI) en - annex en - annex de
  • GSMA en - annex en
  • Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) en - annex en
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) en - annex en
  • Invest Europe en - annex en
  • Investment Property Forum en - annex en

Education and research institutions

  • Association Française d'Etudes de la Concurrence (AFEC) en
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law en - annex en
Non-registered organisations

Law firms
  • Allen & Overy LLP en
  • Baker McKenzie en
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP en
  • "Best Friends" group of law firms en - annex 1 - annex 2 - annex 3 - annex 4
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP en
  • Clifford Chance LLP en
  • Dickson Minto W.S. en - annex en
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP en - annex en
  • Hogal Lovells International LLP en
  • Linklaters LLP en
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP en
  • White & Case LLP en

Companies

  • AbbVie Inc. en
  • Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. en
  • APG Asset Management N.V. en - annex en
  • Microsoft en
  • OMV Aktiengesellschaft en
  • Orange en - annex fr

Associations

  • American Bar Association Sections of International Law and Antitrust Law (ABA) en - annex en
  • Asociación Española Para la Defensa de la Competencia (AEDC) en
  • The UK Competition Law Association (CLA) en
  • Working Group of the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) en - annex en

Education and Research institutions

  • Université de Rouen fr - annex fr
  • Centre for Competition Policy – University of East Anglia en - annex en
Individual replies
  • Aleksandra Boutin and Xavier Boutin en - annex en
Anonymous replies
  • Anonymous reply 1 en - annex en
  • Anonymous reply 2 en
  • Anonymous reply 3 en - annex en


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