INTERNATIONAL: GERMANY - EUROPEAN COMMISSION - MINORITY SHAREHOLDINGS – MERGER CONTROL

Germany : Merger control analysis of minority shareholdings – A model for the EU ?

The European Commission is considering revising the current treatment of non-controlling minority shareholdings that could grant the Commission the competence to examine concentrations that do not confer control over another company. In Germany, the acquisition of a non-controlling minority shareholding already falls under the scrutiny of merger control. The article examines the situation in Germany, identifies the theories of harm, summarizes existing corporate and antitrust constraints that alleviate potential anticompetitive concerns, and discusses the need for an EU reform in light of the experience in Germany.

1. The European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquín Almunia, is considering revising the current treatment of non-controlling minority shareholdings (NCMS) that could grant the Commission the competence to examine concentrations that do not confer control over another company. [1] In this respect, the Commission launched two tenders to assess the importance of minority shareholdings in the EU. [2] The public consultation that will invite stakeholders to present their views is expected to commence in the coming months. In some EU Member States the acquisition of a non-controlling minority shareholding already falls under the scrutiny of merger control, including Germany. [3] 2. This article describes the status of the debate in the EU (I.), examines the situation in Germany (II.),

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Jens Peter Schmidt, Germany : Merger control analysis of minority shareholdings – A model for the EU ?, May 2013, Concurrences Review N° 2-2013, Art. N° 51497, pp. 207-212

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