On 31 March 2017, the German Parliament adopted a reform of the country’s competition act (ARC). Among other amendments, it introduces an additional merger control threshold based on the value of the transaction. This amendment was prompted by a perceived enforcement gap in the current law: according to the explanatory memorandum accompanying the government’s bill (EM), certain mergers of considerable economic significance, in particular in the digital economy and the pharmaceutical sector, may not be captured by the current thresholds because they are exclusively based on revenue. The 2014 Facebook/WhatsApp acquisition, which did not meet the German thresholds, is cited as a prime example. Notwithstanding its sector-specific genesis, the new threshold will apply across industries and
The German Parliament adopts a reform of the national competition act and introduces an additional merger control threshold based on the value of the transaction
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