In June 2012 the Commission for the Protection of Competition adopted new Guidelines for Issuing Phase I Clearances. The commission's goal is to make the merger control procedure more efficient.

Subparagraph 7 of the guidelines sets out the conditions under which the commission will issue a Phase I clearance. The following concentrations, among others, are eligible for Phase I clearance:

  • acquisitions of joint control over a company that generates less than Md1 million in Macedonia;
  • concentrations involving no overlap in product market;
  • concentrations where the participants' joint market share is less than 15%;
  • concentrations where the participants' joint market share is less than 25% in the upstream/downstream market; or
  • acquisitions of sole control over a company which the acquirer used to control jointly.

On the other hand, the commission may decide to initiate a Phase II procedure where:

  • a participant has strong market power;
  • a participant has a presence in a closely connected market;
  • it is impossible to determine the exact market shares of the participants;
  • there are high barriers to market entry; or
  • an assessment of ancillary restraints is requested.

If the commission determines that a concentration meets the criteria set out in Subparagraph 7, it will usually issue a Phase I decision within 25 business days. As stated in the guidelines, the commission will try to issue a summary decision as soon as possible. Nevertheless, during the 25-day period, the commission may still decide to initiate a Phase II procedure.

Further, the guidelines have introduced the potential to enter into pre-notification talks with the case handler, with the aim of correctly defining the relevant market and ensuring that the scope of the information to be provided is agreed in advance.

For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijević at Moravčević Vojnović i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email ([email protected]).