Merger Control

On the basis of European rules on merger control, planned mergers, acquisitions and certain types of joint ventures in which the affected businesses exceed predetermined turnover thresholds are subject to prior supervision by the European Commission. If turnover generated by the affected companies does not exceed these thresholds, the transactions may still be subject to supervision by one or more national authorities, such as the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM).

It is strictly forbidden to undertake a transaction subject to merger supervision before approval has been awarded by the competent supervising body(ies). Enterprises that fail to comply with the merger rules risk high penalties and can be ordered to (partially) reverse the transaction.

Is your organisation involved in a transaction that will bring about a change in the authority over the business? Given the far-reaching potential consequences, it is essential to consider competition law, at the earliest possible stage. Remember:  the outsourcing of a department can under certain circumstances be earmarked as a merger subject to compulsory reporting.

The information issued in the framework of a merger report must be both complete and correct. If the reported details are incomplete, the supervisory body may decide to refuse to consider the report, or require that the missing details still be submitted or supplemented. In such a situation, the term set aside for taking a decision (4 weeks in the event of an ACM report) is suspended, and the intended transaction is delayed. As well as the loss of time, providing incorrect or incomplete information can under certain circumstances lead to an administrative fine. Our specialists have considerable experience in advising and counselling businesses in reporting to the European Commission and the ACM. If you call upon our service on time, we can prevent you being confronted with unpleasant surprises.