Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary was prepared by DG COMP and the OECD for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin. (© European Union - © OECD)

Merger control procedure

The merger control procedure under EU law is laid down in the Merger Regulation (which was amended once) and in the implementing regulation. The Merger Regulation confers to the Commission the sole authority to assess concentrations with a Community dimension. Concentrations which meet the turnover thresholds of the Merger Regulation must be notified to the Commission within a week of the conclusion of the agreement, the announcement of the public bid or the acquisition of a controlling interest. Such concentrations may not be implemented before a clearance decision by the Commission. Violations of these obligations may be subject to fines imposed by the Commission. From the date of the notification, the Commission has in general a period of one month to make an initial assessment of the notified transaction. If the Commission has serious doubts as to the compatibility of a concentration with the common market, it undertakes a more detailed, so-called second phase investigation for which a further four months are allowed. If the Commission does not take a decision within these deadlines, the operation is deemed to have been authorized.

See: Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the "Merger Regulation") and Commission Regulation (EC) No 802/2004 of 21 April 2004 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (OJ L 133, 30.04.2004, p. 1-39) (the "Implementation Regulation")

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