UK Mergers after Brexit: Disruption or continuation?

Webinar of the "Law & Economics" Series organised by Concurrences, in partnership with Baker Botts and Compass Lexecon, with Joel Bamford (Senior Director of Mergers, UK Competition and Markets Authority), Manish Das (Head of Competition Law, Lloyds Banking Group), Alexander Baker (Managing Director, Fingleton), Rameet Sangha (Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon) and Catriona Hatton (Partner, Baker Botts).

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Catriona Hatton

The United Kingdom is emerging at the forefront of merger control enforcement and is now one of the more interventionist authorities, pursuing many of the newer theories of harm and stretching its jurisdictional 25% share of supply jurisdictional threshold to take jurisdiction over international deals where the target has little or no UK revenues. This has resulted in several lengthy investigations, including post-closing investigations, prohibitions, and deals abandoned in the face of antitrust challenge. Concerns around harm to innovation and elimination of emerging competitors or potential entrants have been at the centre of several high-profile investigations including Illumina’s attempted acquisition of Pacific Biosciences, Amazon’s minority investment in Deliveroo, and Sabre’s attempted acquisition of Farelogix.

With Brexit, the CMA gains broader powers to review deals that were previously under the exclusive jurisdiction of Brussels and it is also considering mandatory notification requirements for all deals involving some of the larger digital platforms. With this expanded role, the CMA is set to take an even more prominent role at the forefront of international merger enforcement, but questions remain on how it will prioritise cases so that its focus remains on those deals most likely to impact the UK market and when might it step back and allow other jurisdictions to lead an investigation in the expectation that the outcome will also protect UK consumers.

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  • Fingleton (London)
  • Baker Botts (Brussels)
  • United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
  • Compass Lexecon (London)
  • Lloyds Banking (London)