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The main legislative texts for merger decisions are the EC Merger Regulation and the Implementing Regulation. The Merger Regulation contains the main rules for the assessment of concentrations, whereas the Implementing Regulation concerns procedural issues (notification, deadlines, right to be heard,...). The official forms for standard merger notifications (Form CO), simplified merger notifications (Short Form CO) and referral requests (Form RS) are attached to the Implementing Regulation.

In the field of mergers, notices and guidelines (see list below) play an important role for the interpretation of the Merger Regulation.

The Commission has also published "Best Practice Guidelines" which concern the relationship between case team and parties/third parties during the procedure (pre-notification contacts, meetings, provision of documents). To provide better guidance to the parties when it comes to offering commitments, the Commission has also published model texts for divestiture commitments and for trustee mandates and an explanatory guideline.

EU Competition law – rules applicable to merger control pdf.
Last update on 01.12.2014. This is a downloadable version of the legislation and guidance documents in force as of this date, and available in electronic format only.

The Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community has entered into force on 1st February 2020, (the “Withdrawal Agreement”). During the transition period (until 31 December 2020), pursuant to Article 127(1) and (3) of the Withdrawal Agreement, Union law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom, shall produce the same legal effects as those which it produces within the Union and its Member States and shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the same methods and general principles of those applicable within the Union. In addition, any reference to Member States in the Union law shall be understood as including the United Kingdom, pursuant to Article 127(6).

Notice on the consequences of the UK withdrawal on competition law pdf, as published on 2 December 2020.


Notices and Guidelines

Best practice guidelines

Cooperation with/among EU National Competition Authorities in merger control

The Heads of European national competition authorities ("NCAs") and the European Commission have set up a Merger Working Group to foster increased consistency, convergence and cooperation among EU merger jurisdictions.

ESA and EFTA states have a right to be present in the Advisory Committee when there is a "mixed case" as defined in Article 2 Protocol 24 to the EEA Agreement (turnover related – more than 25 % of total turnover in the territory of the EFTA states - or effect on the markets of the EFTA states). ESA and EFTA states do not have a right to vote, but can express a "view" on the case. These “views” are published on EFTA Surveillance Authority website.

International cooperation

DG COMP Public consultations (archive: Merger Control Public consultations 2014, 2013)

Timeline for Mergers and Antitrust policy reviews 2019-2022

Previous legislative texts (archive)