Unconditional clearance of merger in phase II under Regulation N° 139/2004

This article discusses the reasons the European Commission may have recourse to the second phase of an investigation in order to unconditionally clear a merger. This decision to launch a Phase II investigation often results from a myriad of factors, such as the increasing role of economic analysis throughout the course of the investigation, the standard of proof borne by the European Commission, the complexity of the notified merger and the brief time frame allocated to the Phase I investigation. As a consequence, the Commission does not have the time necessary to fully assess the operation and must resort to the second phase of its investigation.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. The tables mentioned by the author are reproduced in the pdf version attached to this article. Introduction 1. Concentrations are attractive operations for companies because of the efficiencies they generate. However, mergers can also be harmful to consumers when they lead to a reduction in competition. Competition law therefore addresses these phenomena by subjecting them to the control of a competition authority. The latter may be compulsory or optional depending on the legal system. Since the former Regulation No 4064/1989, the European Union has had ex ante control imposing a mandatory notification of concentrations when they exceed the thresholds set

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