The European Commission has launched a consultation on various potential changes to the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is seeking feedback on whether any improvements to the current framework are necessary in the following areas:
The current Merger Regulation applies only to transactions leading to an acquisition of control over a company. The consultation explores whether the Merger Regulation should be amended to allow the Commission to also look at non-controlling minority shareholdings. It sets out a number of options exploring how an effective control could be achieved without creating an undue burden for businesses.
Case referrals between the Commission and EU Member States
The Merger Regulation allows Member States to refer cases to the Commission or vice versa. The consultation seeks the views of stakeholders on how best to streamline this system to avoid delays and to improve its effectiveness. Specifically, the consultation looks at whether merging parties may notify a case directly to the Commission that otherwise would be examined by three or more national competition authorities. The consultation paper also looks at whether the review should cover the whole of the European Economic Area (EEA) and not just the territory of the Member State requesting the referral.
Submissions and comments are accepted until 12 September 2013.