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Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

15. Mergers  

This chapter discusses the regime for controlling mergers which have an ‘EU dimension’ under the European Union Merger Regulation (EUMR). The chapter examines: the purposes of merger control; the history of the EUMR; the scheme of the EUMR and the concept of the ‘one-stop shop’; jurisdiction under the EUMR, including the definition of a ‘concentration’ and what amounts to an ‘EU dimension’; procedure, including Phase I and Phase II proceedings; the substantive appraisal of horizontal, and non-horizontal mergers under the EUMR and the test of significantly impeding effective competition (SIEC); EUMR statistics; appeals; and international issues.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

21. Mergers (2): EU law  

This chapter provides an overview of EU merger control and the jurisdictional rules which determine whether a particular merger should be investigated by the European Commission or by the national competition authorities. It deals with procedural considerations such as the mandatory pre-notification to the Commission of mergers that have a Union dimension and the timetable within which the Commission must operate. It discusses the substantive analysis of mergers under the EU Merger Regulation (‘the EUMR’) and explains the procedure for the Commission to authorise a merger on the basis of commitments offered by the parties to address its competition concerns. Finally, it describes the Commission’s powers of investigation and enforcement, judicial review of Commission decisions by the EU Courts and cooperation between the Commission and other competition authorities, both within and outside the EU. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the EUMR merger control provisions work in practice.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

22. Mergers (3): UK law  

This chapter provides an overview of the UK system of merger control and explains the procedure of the Competition and Markets Authority (‘the CMA’) when determining whether a merger should be referred for an in-depth ‘Phase 2’ investigation and when deciding to accept ‘undertakings in lieu’ of a reference. It describes how Phase 2 investigations are conducted and discusses the way in which the CMA applies the ‘substantially lessening competition’ (‘SLC’) test in practice. It then explains the enforcement powers in the Enterprise Act 2002, including the remedies that the CMA can impose in merger cases, and discusses various supplementary matters, such as powers of investigation and enforcement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the merger control provisions work in practice and provides a brief account of the provisions on public interest cases, other special cases and mergers in the water industry.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

20. Mergers (1): introduction  

This chapter briefly discusses the subject of merger control. Merger control is an important component of most, though not all, systems of competition law. It begins by explaining what is meant by a ‘merger’ or ‘concentration’, the term used by the EU Merger Regulation (‘the EUMR’). It then proceeds to describe the different effects of mergers between independent firms from within and different production levels, the proliferation of systems of merger control, why firms merge and the purpose of merger control. The final section of the chapter deals with how to design a system of merger control when a country decides, as a matter of policy, to adopt one.

Book

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK
Competition Law of the EU in the UK provides an introduction to the field of competition law and relates it to the situation of the UK within the EU. It starts by looking at competition law in the EU and UK. It considers international issues and the globalization of competition law. In addition, it looks at procedure in terms of investigation, penalties, leniency, and private enforcement. It considers article 101 TFEU. It also explains the economics of merger control, looking at both the EU and UK merger control regime and the treatment of joint ventures. Finally, it considers state aid, the relationship between competition law and intellectual property and the common law and competition.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK

19. The EU merger control regime and the treatment of joint ventures  

This chapter discusses the application of competition law to mergers, focusing on the EU and the EUMR. In the EU, where a merger (‘concentration’) meets the relevant thresholds, it falls within the exclusive competence of the European Commission to examine the merger. Undertakings contemplating such a merger are required compulsorily to notify the Commission. The test of a merger’s acceptance is that of whether it substantially impedes effective competition in the internal market, in particular, but not exclusively, by creating or strengthening a dominant position. Using the powers set out in the Merger Regulation the Commission may authorize, or block, the merger over a two-stage process. Tight time limits apply. Appeals against Commission decisions are to the General Court.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK

20. The UK merger control regime and the treatment of joint ventures  

This chapter discusses the application of competition law to mergers, focusing on the UK system. Where a relevant merger situation is created, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has the power to review the merger. Unlike in the EU, notification is not compulsory. The CMA may clear the merger, clear it subject to conditions, or refer it for further consideration to an independent Inquiry Group made up of members of the CMA Panel. The Inquiry Group may clear the merger, clear it subject to conditions, or block it. The test of a merger’s acceptance is that of whether it substantially lessens competition. UK merger decisions may be appealed to the Competition Appeals Tribunal.

Book

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

Brenda Sufrin, Niamh Dunne, and Alison Jones

EU Competition Law: Text, Cases, and Materials provides a complete guide to European competition law in a single authoritative volume. Carefully selected extracts from key cases, academic articles, and statutory materials are accompanied by in-depth author commentary from three experienced academics in the field. Thorough footnoting and referencing give a tour of the available literature, making this an ideal text and stand-alone resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as for competition law scholars engaged in specialised study. This eighth edition has been fully updated with detailed coverage and commentary on recent developments. These include contemporary concerns about the objectives, interpretation, and application of competition law in the light of sustainability imperatives including the EU’s Green Deal, worldwide economic and political upheaval stemming in particular from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and continuing developments in the digital economy; the EU Courts’ judgments on Articles 101, 102, and mergers including Intel (RENV), Google and Alphabet, Google (Android), Slovak Telekom, Generics, Lundbeck, and CK Telecoms; cases on the Commission’s enforcement powers and judicial review, including Sped-Pro and Slovak Telekom; new legislation, guidelines, and notices (in final form or draft) on vertical agreements, horizontal agreements, and market definition; Commission actions in the pharmaceutical, energy, and financial sectors, including interaction with regulatory rules, liberalisation programmes, and intellectual property law; private litigation in the wake of the directive on damages, including the Court’s judgments in Sumal and Paccar; and thorough discussion of ongoing developments in competition law such as the Commission’s enforcement policy against cartels, the appraisal of mergers, the use of commitments decisions, the use of comfort letters during Covid-19 and the Commission’s revised notice on informal guidance, and the increasing activity by national competition authorities. The eighth edition contains an entirely new chapter on the digital economy, including detailed coverage of the Digital Markets Act.

Book

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

Alison Jones, Brenda Sufrin, and Niamh Dunne

EU Competition Law: Text, Cases, and Materials provides a complete guide to European competition law in a single authoritative volume. Carefully selected extracts from key cases, academic articles, and statutory materials are accompanied by in-depth author commentary from three experienced academics in the field. Thorough footnoting and referencing give a tour of the available literature, making this an ideal text and stand-alone resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as for competition law scholars engaged in specialized study. This seventh edition has been fully updated with detailed coverage and commentary on recent developments. These include the EU Courts’ judgments on Articles 101, 102 and 106 including Intel; cases on the Commission’s enforcement powers and judicial review; new legislation and guidelines on technology transfer; the revised de minimis notice; Commission actions in the digital economy, including the Google case; the directive on damages; and thorough discussion of ongoing developments in competition law such as the Commission's enforcement policy against cartels, the appraisal of mergers, the use of commitments decisions and the compatibility of EU competition procedures with human rights provisions.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

22. Mergers (3): UK  

This chapter discusses UK law on the control of mergers. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of the domestic system of merger control. Section 3 explains the procedure of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) when determining whether a merger should be referred for an in-depth ‘Phase 2’ investigation and when deciding to accept ‘undertakings in lieu’ of a reference. Section 4 describes how Phase 2 investigations are conducted and Section 5 discusses the ‘substantially lessening competition’ (‘SLC’) test. Section 6 explains the enforcement powers in the Enterprise Act 2002, including the remedies that the CMA can impose in merger cases. The subsequent sections discuss various supplementary matters, such as powers of investigation and enforcement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the merger control provisions work in practice and a brief account of the provisions on public interest cases, other special cases and mergers in the water industry. The withdrawal by the UK from the EU means that many mergers that were subject to a ‘one-stop shop’ under EU law are now subject to investigation in the UK as well.

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

15. Mergers  

Alison Jones, Brenda Sufrin, and Niamh Dunne

This chapter discusses the regime for controlling mergers which have an ‘EU dimension’ under the European Union Merger Regulation (EUMR). The chapter examines: the purposes of merger control; the history of the EUMR; the scheme of the EUMR and the concept of the ‘one-stop shop’; jurisdiction under the EUMR, including the definition of a ‘concentration’ and what amounts to an ‘EU dimension’; procedure, including Phase I and Phase II proceedings; the substantive appraisal of horizontal, and non-horizontal, mergers under the EUMR and the test of significantly impeding effective competition (SIEC); EUMR statistics; appeals; and international issues. It considers current controversial issues, including whether merger control is sufficiently rigorous, how acquisitions of start-ups or impacting on innovation should be assessed, whether a new substantive test for appraisal of mergers is required, and whether, and if so when, public interest (or non-competition) factors, such as the impact of a concentration on jobs, equality, sustainability, democracy, industrial policy, or national security, should affect the appraisal of a merger.

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

2. The Competition Law and Institutions of the European Union  

This chapter sketches the history and functions of the EU and its institutions in order to set the EU competition rules in context. It then describes the competition provisions themselves and outlines the way in which the rules are applied and enforced, including the public enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 under Regulation 1/2003, the control of mergers with a European dimension under Regulation 139/2004, public enforcement by the national competition authorities of the Member States, and the role of private enforcement. It discusses the position and powers of the European Commission, particularly the role of the Competition Directorate General (DG Comp); the powers of the EU Courts; the significance of fundamental rights and the general principles of EU law in competition cases; the application of competition rules to particular sectors of the economy; and the application of the EU rules to the EEA.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law of the EU and UK

18. The economics of merger control  

This chapter deals with the key arguments that underpin the policy goals behind merger control which, in essence, relate to two factors: first, the creation or extension of monopoly power, including the raising of barriers to entry for potential competitors; and second, increasing the scope for collusion in a market which, post-merger, will be more oligopolistic and less competitive than was the market premerger. The first of these two factors is related to the control of dominant firm conduct; dominance itself is not condemned in either the EU or the UK. Nevertheless, in merger control there is a situation where the attainment or extension of dominance may be condemned or prevented.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

20. Mergers (1): introduction  

This chapter briefly discusses the subject of merger control. Merger control is an important component of most, though not all, systems of competition law. Merger control has been under particular scrutiny in recent years, partly as a result of the rapid development of digital technologies and the emergence of powerful digital platforms. Separately there has been a certain backlash against the trend towards the globalisation of markets, and national governments, as well as the EU, have considered whether controls over the foreign acquisition of key industries are required, and whether the basic test of merger control – would a merger be harmful to competition? – should be supplemented by broader provisions enabling ‘the public interest’ to be taken into account. Against this background, the chapter begins by explaining what is meant by a ‘merger’ or ‘concentration’, the term used by the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR). It then proceeds to describe the different effects of mergers between independent firms from within and different production levels, the proliferation of systems of merger control, why firms merge, and the purpose of merger control. The final section of the chapter deals with how to design a system of merger control when a country decides, as a matter of policy, to adopt one.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

21. Mergers (2): EU law  

This chapter examines EU merger control. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of EU merger control. Section 3 discusses the jurisdictional rules which determine whether a particular merger should be investigated by the European Commission in Brussels or by the national competition authorities (‘the NCAs’) of the Member States. Section 4 deals with the procedural considerations such as the mandatory pre-notification to the Commission of mergers that have a Union dimension and the timetable within which the Commission must operate. Section 5 discusses the substantive analysis of mergers under the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), and section 6 explains the procedure whereby the Commission may authorise a merger on the basis of commitments, often referred to as remedies, offered by the parties to address its competition concerns. The subsequent sections describe the Commission’s powers of investigation and enforcement, judicial review of Commission decisions by the EU Courts and cooperation between the Commission and other competition authorities, both within and outside the EU. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the EUMR merger control provisions work in practice.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

12. The international dimension of competition law  

This chapter explores the international dimension of competition law from two perspectives. It begins by describing the growth of international institutions involved in the development of competition law and policy, with particular reference to the International Competition Network (the ‘ICN’), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (the ‘OECD’) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (‘UNCTAD’). It then looks at a more technical issue, which is the extent to which a sovereign state (or the European Union) can apply its competition law extraterritorially to conduct beyond its borders that has a harmful effect within it: this will briefly be considered from a theoretical perspective, after which the positions in the US, EU and UK will be examined in turn. The chapter concludes by briefly examining the extent to which a state may wish to block the application of a foreign competition law to its businesses.

Chapter

Cover Jones & Sufrin's EU Competition Law

2. The Competition Law and Institutions of the European Union  

Alison Jones, Brenda Sufrin, and Niamh Dunne

This chapter sketches the history and functions of the EU and its institutions in order to set the EU competition rules in context. It then describes the competition provisions themselves and outlines the way in which the rules are applied and enforced, including the public enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 under Regulation 1/2003, the control of mergers with a European dimension under Regulation 139/2004, public enforcement by the national competition authorities of the Member States, and the role of private enforcement. It discusses the position and powers of the European Commission, particularly the role of the Competition Directorate General (DG Comp); the powers of the EU Courts; the significance of fundamental rights and the general principles of EU law in competition cases; the application of competition rules to particular sectors of the economy; and the application of the EU rules to the EEA.

Book

Cover Competition Law

Richard Whish and David Bailey

Competition Law explains competition law and policy in the EU and UK. The intention is to provide the reader with an understanding of competition law and policy, to introduce the reader to key economic concepts, legal principles and tools in competition law, and to provide insights into the numerous different issues that arise when applying competition law to market behaviour. Describing the economic rationale for the law, the chapters consider the application of EU and UK competition law to various business practices, including cartels, cooperation agreements, distribution agreements, licences of intellectual property rights, joint ventures, and mergers. The text has been updated to include the changes to UK law as a consequence of Brexit. It discusses for the first time the rise of powerful digital platforms and the quest for a suitable competition law and regulatory response to this phenomenon. It also considers the implications of the European Green Deal and the sustainability agenda for EU competition law and practice. The text incorporates extensive new legislation, case-law, decisional practice, guidelines and periodical literature at EU and UK level.