Mélanie THILL-TAYARA launched the 6th Global Merger Conference with a few welcoming remarks, before turning to the President of the Autorité de la concurrence for a session of Q&A on legal and economic topics. The first question raised by Ms. Thill-Tayara related to the merger pre-notification process. Although the pre-notification process is lengthy, it is often the case that some issues that could have been addressed in the pre-notification phase must be solved later during the notification process. How can the administrative management of notification be improved with pre-notification? Which practical improvements are being considered by the Autorité?
Isabelle de SILVA mentioned that pre-notification is encouraged by the Autorité as it quickens and smoothes the notification process, but it remains voluntary. Its objet is not to address competitive issues or anticipate the review carried out during the notification process. Exceptionally, the parties can present ideas of potential remedies at the pre-notification stage where they anticipate probable competitive concerns. Thus, pre-notification contributes to the general goal of simplification of merger control in all eligible cases. The recent merger control reform, which will reduce the administrative burden on notifying parties for most operations, is expected to enter into force shortly.