Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary is based on definitions from DG COMP’s Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy (© European Union, 2002) and the OECD’s Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law (© OECD, 1993). Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review.

Clearance phase I (merger)

After notification of the merger the Commission has 25 working days to analyse the deal during the phase I investigation. More than 90% of all cases are resolved in Phase I, generally without remedies.

A phase I review may involve the following:

Requests for information from the merging companies or third parties; Questionnaires to competitors or customers seeking their views on the merger, as well as other contacts with market participants, aimed at clarifying the conditions for competition in a given market or the role of the merged companies in that market.

The Commission keeps the merging companies informed about the progress if its analysis. Towards the end of phase I, a "state-of-play meeting" is typically held, where the Commission informs them about the results of the phase I investigation. If there are competition concerns, companies can offer remedies, which extends the phase I deadline by 10 working days.

There are two main conclusions of a phase I investigation:

The merger is cleared, either unconditionally or subject to accepted remedies; or The merger still raises competition concerns and the Commission opens a phase II investigation.

© European Commission

See also : Clearance phase II (Merger)

Glossary