UK merger control process The UK operates a two-stage merger control regime. Before starting a formal merger investigation, the CMA will conduct pre-notification discussions with the parties, which typically last one to two months. Upon conclusion of these discussions, the CMA opens a formal Phase 1 merger investigation, which lasts 40 working days. If the CMA finds that the transaction may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (an SLC), and the parties do not offer suitable undertakings to address the CMA's concerns (usually divestments to a third party), the CMA must refer the merger to a in-depth Phase 2
The UK Competition and Markets Authority is consulting on proposed changes to the UK merger regime to reduce the burden of investigations into mergers where the parties operate in small markets
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