ARTICLE : MERGERS - FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY - GUN-JUMPING

Reflections on gun jumping in mergers

On 8 November 2016 Altice-SFR was fined 80 million euros by the French Competition Authority for Gun jumping. This decision, first of a kind in Europe with regard to the fine’s amount and the practices at stake, has raised a debate amongst lawyers and companies towards its potential impact on M&A practices. The President of the French Competition Authority, Isabelle de Silva, hereby takes the opportunity to shed a light on this decision and to give insights on the general framework for analyzing these type of infringements.

1. Decision 16-D-24 of the Autorité de la concurrence of 8 November 2016 fining the company Altice-SFR 80 million euros for gun jumping in two merger cases (the takeover by Altice group of SFR group and Virgin Mobile) (hereinafter the “Altice decision”) has captured the interest of competition law practitioners and of businesses. It has also given rise to concerns that established M&A practices may be called into question, in particular mechanisms designed to check that the economic value of the target prior to completion of the transaction is being upheld. 2. The Autorité has acknowledged these questions and concerns. It has endeavoured, at many different meetings, conferences and discussions (particularly at the “Rendez-vous” with the Autorité that it held in Paris on 23 March 2017),

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Isabelle de Silva, Reflections on gun jumping in mergers, September 2018, Concurrences Review N° 3-2018, Art. N° 87367, pp. 55-66

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