Legislation and jurisdiction

Relevant legislation and regulators

What is the relevant legislation and who enforces it?

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) is administratively and legally separate from China. As such, Hong Kong has its own system of law.

The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) (the Competition Ordinance), which came into full force on 14 December 2015, is the first ever economy-wide, cross-sector competition law in Hong Kong. While the Competition Ordinance focuses on two key behavioural prohibitions on anticompetitive business conduct concerning anticompetitive agreements and abuse of a substantial degree of market power, it also incorporates a limited merger control regime that applies to mergers involving a telecommunications licence carrier (the Merger Rule). The Merger Rule provides that an undertaking must not, directly or indirectly, carry out a ‘merger’ that has or is likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in Hong Kong.

The Competition Commission (the Commission) and the Communications Authority (the CA) have concurrent jurisdiction in enforcing the Merger Rule. The Commission and the CA have jointly issued a guideline setting out how they intend to interpret and give effect to the Merger Rule (the Guideline). A dedicated Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) has jurisdiction to hear and determine applications made by the Commission or the CA to unwind a completed merger or to prohibit a proposed merger.

Unless specified otherwise, where a matter relates to conduct falling within the Commission’s and the CA’s concurrent jurisdiction, references are made to the ‘competition authority’, which shall be read as including both the Commission and the CA. In practice, and as stipulated under the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the CA, the CA will typically take the lead in relation to matters relating to the Merger Rule, given that the merger control regime in Hong Kong only applies to the telecommunications sector (see question 2).

Scope of legislation

What kinds of mergers are caught?

The merger control regime only applies to ‘mergers’ involving a carrier licence within the meaning of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap 106). Such a carrier licence essentially relates to network operators that establish and maintain wired or wireless transmission facilities that carry ‘communications’ between locations that are separated by public streets or unleased land. This includes the local and external fixed network operators and mobile network operators.

There are no financial thresholds to trigger the Merger Rule. Instead, the issue is whether a merger has taken or is to take place. A ‘merger’ takes place if:

  • two or more previously independent undertakings cease to be independent of each other;
  • one or more persons or undertakings acquire direct or indirect control of the whole or part of one or more other undertakings. In this regard, the creation of a joint venture to perform, on a lasting basis, all the functions of an autonomous economic entity also constitutes a merger; or
  • an acquisition by one undertaking of the whole or a part of the assets of another undertaking such that the acquirer is in a position to replace or substantially replace the acquired undertaking in the business or part of the business concerned in which the acquired undertaking was engaged immediately before the acquisition.

In each case above, the Merger Rule applies either where the acquirer or target holds a telecommunications carrier licence, or where the acquirer or target directly or indirectly controls an undertaking that holds a telecommunications carrier licence.

What types of joint ventures are caught?

The creation of a joint venture to perform, on a lasting basis, all the functions of an autonomous economic entity constitutes a merger within the meaning of the Merger Rule. In accordance with the Guideline, performing all the functions of an autonomous economic entity means that a joint venture must operate on a market and perform the functions normally carried out by an undertaking operating on that market; this is not the case if it only takes over one specific function within the parent companies’ business activities without access to or presence on the market.

Is there a definition of ‘control’ and are minority and other interests less than control caught?

A merger takes place if one or more persons or other undertakings acquire direct or indirect control of the whole or part of one or more other undertakings. ‘Control’ is acquired by any person if that person becomes a holder of the rights or contracts or is capable of exercising decisive influence with regard to the composition, voting or decisions of any governing body of an undertaking or the activities of the undertaking by ownership of the assets of the undertaking. ‘Decisive influence’ refers to the power to determine or veto decisions relating to the strategic commercial behaviour of an undertaking. ‘Control’ may therefore be established on a legal or de facto basis such that minority and other interests that amount to less than legal control may be caught. However, no specific percentage threshold for ‘control’ is stated in either the Competition Ordinance or the Guideline.

Thresholds, triggers and approvals

What are the jurisdictional thresholds for notification and are there circumstances in which transactions falling below these thresholds may be investigated?

There are no financial thresholds under the Competition Ordinance; instead the question is whether a merger has taken or is to take place (see question 2).

The competition authority has nevertheless identified two indicative ‘safe harbours’ according to which mergers are unlikely to substantially lessen competition:

  • four-firm concentration ratio: where the post-merger combined market share of the four (or fewer) largest firms (CR4) in the relevant market is less than 75 per cent, and the merged firm has a market share of less than 40 per cent; or where the CR4 is 75 per cent or more, and the combined market share of the merged entity is less than 15 per cent of the relevant market; and
  • Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI): where the post-merger HHI is less than 1,000 in the relevant market; or where the post-merger HHI is between 1,000 and 1,800, and the merger produces an increase in the HHI of less than 100 in the relevant market; or where the post-merger HHI is more than 1,800, and the merger produces an increase in the HHI of less than 50.

However, the competition authority has expressly stated that meeting one or both of the safe harbour thresholds does not necessarily mean that the merger does not give rise to competition concerns and that it may still commence an investigation in ‘appropriate circumstances’.

Is the filing mandatory or voluntary? If mandatory, do any exceptions exist?

Filing is voluntary in general, but parties are encouraged to contact the competition authority at an early stage to discuss a proposed merger that involves a telecommunications carrier licence.

However, where a party is required to make a mandatory general offer (MGO) under the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Repurchases (the Takeovers Code) that would result in a ‘change’ in relation to a carrier licensee, the Takeovers Code requires that the MGO offeror obtains prior formal consent from the CA in relation to the ‘change’ to the carrier licensee before it triggers an obligation to make an MGO.

Do foreign-to-foreign mergers have to be notified and is there a local effects or nexus test?

The Merger Rule applies to foreign mergers if the transaction (indirectly) involves a telecommunications carrier licence under the Telecommunications Ordinance.

Are there also rules on foreign investment, special sectors or other relevant approvals?

Generally speaking, there are no economy-wide restrictions relating to foreign investment in Hong Kong. Sector-specific limits on foreign investment apply in the television and sound broadcasting sectors.

Notification and clearance timetable

Filing formalities

What are the deadlines for filing? Are there sanctions for not filing and are they applied in practice?

There are no deadlines for filing, as the merger control regime is generally voluntary. As a result, there are no specified sanctions for not filing but please refer to question 12 for the risks associated with closing before obtaining consent from the competition authority.

Which parties are responsible for filing and are filing fees required?

‘Merging parties’ can submit a voluntary notification to the competition authority seeking ‘informal advice’ on a confidential basis (the Informal Advice Route). The informal advice is not binding on the competition authority, but it provides a preliminary view as to whether the proposed merger is likely to raise competition concerns.

Parties to a merger may also apply to the competition authority for a formal decision as to whether the merger is excluded from the application of the Merger Rule on the basis that the economic efficiencies of the merger outweigh the adverse effects caused by any lessening of competition, or the statutory exemptions apply (the Decision Route) (statutory exemptions cover statutory bodies to which the Merger Rule does not apply pursuant to section 3 of the Competition Ordinance or specified persons; and persons engaged in specified activities to which the Merger Rule does not apply as determined by the Chief Executive in Council by means of a regulation made pursuant to section 5 of the Competition Ordinance).

A fee of HK$500,000 will be charged for an application to the competition authority for a decision; in the case of the CA, the amount of the fee will be equal to the costs and expenses incurred by the CA (but capped at HK$500,000).

What are the waiting periods and does implementation of the transaction have to be suspended prior to clearance?

There is no suspensory obligation.

In terms of timetable for clearance, no indicative timetable is provided by the competition authority in relation to the Informal Advice Route or the Decision Route. The competition authority has stated that it will endeavour to process applications in an efficient and timely manner, but that timing will depend on the complexities of the case and the resources available to the competition authority. In practice, from submission of all required information, ‘no issues’ cases have been approved within one month and complex cases have taken up to six months to be approved.

In addition, the competition authority may commence an investigation of a merger within 30 days of the day on which the competition authority first became aware, or ought to have become aware, that a merger has taken place. If the competition authority reasonably believes that a merger contravenes the Merger Rule, it must apply to the Tribunal for an order within six months (this can be extended if the Tribunal considers it reasonable) of the day on which the merger was completed or the competition authority became aware of the merger (whichever is the later).

Pre-clearance closing

What are the possible sanctions involved in closing or integrating the activities of the merging businesses before clearance and are they applied in practice?

As noted above, there is generally no requirement to seek approval before closing such that there are no specified sanctions for closing before clearance.

However, where the implementation of a proposed transaction would result in a requirement that the offeror make an MGO pursuant to the Takeovers Code, it is a requirement that the offeror obtain prior formal consent from the CA for a ‘change’ to the carrier licensee. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action under the Takeovers Code. Sanctions include issuance of a public apology, public censure, and requirements on the company involved, licensed representatives and registered institutions not to act or implement the merger or acquisition.

In addition, the competition authority may commence an investigation of an anticipated or completed merger and can seek various orders from the Tribunal including orders to unwind the transaction or orders to divest certain assets. In certain circumstances, the competition authority can also apply to the Tribunal for interim measures for the purpose of ‘preventing pre-emptive action’, which may prejudice the hearing of the application by the Tribunal. Interim measures would include measures akin to hold-separate orders or stand-still obligations.

Are sanctions applied in cases involving closing before clearance in foreign-to-foreign mergers?

There is generally no requirement to seek approval before closing and there are no specified sanctions for not filing (but please refer to question 12).

What solutions might be acceptable to permit closing before clearance in a foreign-to-foreign merger?

Not applicable. The Hong Kong merger control regime is voluntary and non-suspensory (see question 13).

Public takeovers

Are there any special merger control rules applicable to public takeover bids?

Yes. See question 6 and 12.

Documentation

What is the level of detail required in the preparation of a filing, and are there sanctions for supplying wrong or missing information?

A prescribed form (Form M) sets out the information required for an application for a decision to exclude a merger or proposed merger from the application of the Merger Rule. Information to be provided includes the parties’ general corporate information and business activities, description of the transaction, proposed market definition, market shares, detailed competition analysis and grounds for exclusion. The application should also include supporting documents such as a declaration of completeness and accuracy, copies of transaction documents and internal documents.

There is no prescribed form for a voluntary notification for informal advice, but the Guideline indicates that applicants should provide some evidence that either the heads of agreement, term sheet or sale and purchase agreement are in place and that, when submitting the voluntary notification, reference may be made to the type of information listed in Form M.

Investigation phases and timetable

What are the typical steps and different phases of the investigation?

The competition authority may conduct an investigation into any conduct that, upon reasonable suspicion, may constitute a contravention of the Merger Rule. See question 11 for the time frame of commencing an investigation and application for an order.

Generally, the competition authority will have the power to obtain relevant documents and information and to require any person by written notice to attend an interview before the competition authority during an investigation. The competition authority may also conduct market inquiries that could include consulting with interested third parties. If, following its investigation, the competition authority considers that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the merger or anticipated merger contravenes the Merger Rule, the competition authority will take no further action. In the alternative, the competition authority can apply to the Tribunal for an order. See question 11 for the timelines.

What is the statutory timetable for clearance? Can it be speeded up?

See question 11.

Substantive assessment

Substantive test

What is the substantive test for clearance?

The substantive test to be applied for the Merger Rule is whether the merger has, or is likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in Hong Kong. The Guideline explains that the competition authority will generally interpret a substantial lessening of competition by reference to whether the merger is likely to encourage one or more firms to raise prices, reduce output, limit innovation, or otherwise harm consumers as a result of diminished competitive constraints or incentives. The lessening of competition must be ‘substantial’. Limited effects on the competitive process such as day-to-day injury to individual competitors will not be considered ‘substantial’ if the competitive process within the relevant market remains strong.

Is there a special substantive test for joint ventures?

There is no special substantive test for joint ventures.

Theories of harm

What are the ‘theories of harm’ that the authorities will investigate?

The ‘theories of harm’ that the competition authority will likely investigate are set out in the Guideline and include both non-coordinated effects and coordinated effects. The factors that may be taken into consideration by the competition authority include:

  • the extent of competition from competitors outside Hong Kong;
  • whether the acquired undertaking has failed or is likely to fail in the near future;
  • the extent to which substitutes are available or likely to be available in the market;
  • the existence and height of any barriers to entry into the market;
  • whether the merger would result in the removal of an effective and vigorous competitor;
  • the degree of countervailing power in the market; and
  • the nature and extent of change and innovation in the market.

The Guideline further sets out additional factors that the competition authority may consider when assessing a vertical merger. These include whether:

  • there is market power at one or more of the functional levels involved in the merger;
  • there are incentives to leverage that market power into the upstream or downstream market with the purpose of lessening or foreclosing competition in that market (ie, where the merged firm operates in a competitive upstream or downstream market);
  • the market power is likely to be leveraged (eg, where raising rivals’ costs in downstream markets through discriminatory access pricing would be profitable and would lessen competition); and
  • the effect is likely to substantially lessen competition in the market.

The competition authority will usually employ a ‘with-and-without’ test when assessing the transaction, which involves assessing the level of competition that is likely to exist in a market both with and without the merger.

Non-competition issues

To what extent are non-competition issues relevant in the review process?

The Chief Executive in Council may, by order published in the Gazette, exempt a specified merger or proposed merger from the application of the Merger Rule if he or she is satisfied that there are exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy to do so. There is little guidance in the Guideline on what constitutes exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy.

Economic efficiencies

To what extent does the authority take into account economic efficiencies in the review process?

The Merger Rule does not apply to a merger if the economic efficiencies that arise or may arise from the merger outweigh the adverse effects caused by any lessening of competition in Hong Kong. The undertaking claiming the benefit of such exclusion will bear the burden of proof. The undertaking must show that the outweighing economic efficiency gains occur as a direct result of the merger.

The Guideline sets out three general types of efficiencies:

  • productive efficiencies, which are achieved where a firm produces the goods and services that it offers to consumers at the lowest cost;
  • allocative efficiencies, which are achieved where resources in the economy are allocated to their highest-valued uses (ie, those that provide the greatest benefit relative to costs); and
  • dynamic efficiencies, which are achieved through an ongoing process of introducing new technologies and products in response to changes in consumer preferences and production techniques.

Remedies and ancillary restraints

Regulatory powers

What powers do the authorities have to prohibit or otherwise interfere with a transaction?

Voluntary application to the competition authority for decision

Where parties have submitted an application under the Decision Route, the competition authority, after considering the representations made by those who are likely to be affected by the decision, may make a decision as to whether or not the merger or proposed merger is excluded from the application of the Merger Rule, or make a decision that includes conditions or limitations subject to which the merger or proposed merger is to have effect including, in the case of a proposed merger, specifying a date by which the proposed merger must be completed.

Review of anticipated mergers by the competition authority

Where the competition authority, after conducting an investigation, has concluded that the merger will not contravene the Merger Rule, then the investigation will be closed and the competition authority will take no further action. If, however, the competition authority has reasonable cause to believe that anticipated mergers will likely contravene the Merger Rule if carried into effect, it may initiate proceedings at the Tribunal. If the Tribunal considers that the merger is likely to contravene the Merger Rule, it may make an order to ensure that there will be no such contravention, including ordering the person against whom the order is directed not to proceed with the merger or a part of the merger, or prohibiting the person against whom the order is directed from doing anything that will result in a merger. If the Tribunal is not satisfied that a merger would likely contravene the Merger Rule, it may make a declaration to that effect. If the application is made to the Tribunal but it has not yet been finally determined, the Tribunal may make interim orders for the purpose of ‘preventing pre-emptive action’ (see question 12).

Review of completed mergers by the competition authority

Similar to anticipated mergers, the competition authority may apply to the Tribunal for an order if it has reasonable cause to believe that a merger will likely contravene the Merger Rule. Insofar as the Tribunal is satisfied that a merger contravenes the Merger Rule, it may make any order it considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the contravention to an end, which may include an order providing for divestiture of any business or any undertaking or association of undertakings, or an order prohibiting or restricting the acquisition by any person of the whole or part of another person’s business or the doing of anything that will or may result in a merger.

In each of the above scenarios, it is possible for the parties to propose suitable remedies to close down any competition authority investigation or Tribunal proceedings.

Remedies and conditions

Is it possible to remedy competition issues, for example by giving divestment undertakings or behavioural remedies?

Yes, it is possible for the parties to the merger to propose suitable remedies to meet the concerns of the competition authority in return for the competition authority’s agreement not to commence an investigation, not bring proceedings in the Tribunal, or to terminate any investigation or proceedings that have commenced. As a general rule, the competition authority prefers structural remedies, as such remedies do not generally require ongoing monitoring activity.

What are the basic conditions and timing issues applicable to a divestment or other remedy?

The procedural requirements for the acceptance, withdrawal of acceptance, variation and release of commitments are provided in Schedule 2 of the Competition Ordinance. Before accepting a commitment, the competition authority must give at least 15 days’ notice of the proposed commitment to those that are considered likely to be affected by the merger and the proposed commitment and consider any representations that are made to the competition authority. Any commitment accepted by the competition authority will be made public in the register of commitments.

What is the track record of the authority in requiring remedies in foreign-to-foreign mergers?

The competition authority does not distinguish between domestic mergers and foreign-to-foreign mergers.

Under the old regime (repealed) under the Telecommunications Ordinance, the CA approved in 2014 HKT Limited’s acquisition of CSL New World Mobility Limited subject to remedies. The remedies to address the concern in the downstream retail mobile telecommunications service market were: HKT and CSL to dispose of a specified amount of 3G spectrum, not to participate in any 3G auction in Hong Kong for a period of five years, and make known any plan of closure of any base station sites for a period of five years. The remedies to address the concern in the upstream wholesale access service market were: HKT and CSL to continue providing wholesale network access to mobile virtual network operators based on existing agreements for a period of three years, and HKT to continue giving effect to its network capacity sharing agreement with a mobile network operator that was relying on such network capacity to provide its own retail mobile telecommunications services.

Although HKT/CSL was a domestic transaction, the agreed remedies illustrate the types of remedies the competition authority could also seek in foreign-to-foreign mergers.

Ancillary restrictions

In what circumstances will the clearance decision cover related arrangements (ancillary restrictions)?

A merger transaction can involve the acceptance of restrictions that go beyond the merger agreement itself; for example, non-compete covenants, licences for intellectual property or purchase and supply agreements.

Where the restrictions are directly related and necessary to the implementation of the merger agreement, they will be treated as ancillary restrictions and will be assessed as part of the merger transaction under the Merger Rule. However, where the restrictions are not directly related and necessary, they will be assessed under the behavioural provisions under the Competition Ordinance relating to the prohibition against entering into anticompetitive agreements and the prohibition against abuse of a substantial degree of market power.

Involvement of other parties or authorities

Third-party involvement and rights

Are customers and competitors involved in the review process and what rights do complainants have?

Under the Decision Route, the competition authority must publish a notice and allow for a period of 30 days for representations to be submitted and considered.

The competition authority may also, as part of an investigation into a proposed merger or completed merger, seek input from relevant third parties, conduct market inquiries that could include consulting competitors of the merging parties, suppliers, customers, industry associations and consumer groups and consider their views insofar as they are relevant, and carry out independent research, for example, to help assess the degree of competition in the relevant market.

For commitments, please see questions 25 and 26.

Publicity and confidentiality

What publicity is given to the process and how do you protect commercial information, including business secrets, from disclosure?

The competition authority is under a duty to establish and maintain adequate procedural safeguards to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information (which is a broadly defined term in the Competition Ordinance and encompasses commercial information and business secrets). It is an offence when a specified person (which is a defined term in the Competition Ordinance and includes the competition authority and their members, employees or agents) is in breach of his or her duty to preserve the confidentiality of any confidential information. Disclosure is only allowed with lawful authority; for instance, when the required consent is sought or if the information has already been lawfully disclosed to the public on an earlier occasion. In the case of disclosure with lawful authority, a specified person must, before disclosing any such information, give notice to the person who provided the information and to any person who is likely to be affected by the disclosure and consider any representations that are made about the proposed disclosure. The Competition Ordinance also imposes an obligation on a third party (not being a specified person) not to disclose confidential information.

Where a person or applicant provides information to the competition authority and is seeking confidential treatment, the information must be specifically identified and the reason for confidentiality must be provided. Parties are also asked to submit both confidential and non-confidential versions of documents when appropriate.

Specifically in relation to complaints, the competition authority will generally investigate in private to protect the interests of those involved and will not make disclosures except where appropriate (eg, to carry out the investigation).

Cross-border regulatory cooperation

Do the authorities cooperate with antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions?

There is no express provision in the Competition Ordinance providing for cooperation with antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions. The Commission did, however, become a member of the International Competition Network (ICN) in December 2013. It has since been an active member of the ICN and is engaged in the work of various ICN Working Groups. In addition, the Commission has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Competition Commission in December 2016 with the purpose of enhancing cooperation, coordination and information sharing between the two agencies.

Judicial review

Available avenues

What are the opportunities for appeal or judicial review?

An application may be made by any person or undertaking concerned to the Tribunal for a review of the competition authority’s decision. Such application can only be made with the leave of the Tribunal. Leave can only be granted if the Tribunal is satisfied that either the review has a reasonable prospect of success, or it is in the interests of justice to hear the review. Before or after the determination of an application for review, the Tribunal may, either of its own motion or on application, refer any question of law arising in the review to the Court of Appeal for determination by way of case stated.

An appeal lies as of right to the Court of Appeal against any decision, determination or order of the Tribunal made under the Competition Ordinance with a few exceptions. The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine an appeal and may:

  • confirm, set aside or vary the decision, determination or order of the Tribunal;
  • where the decision, determination or order is set aside, substitute any other decision, determination or order it considers appropriate; or
  • remit the matter in question to the Tribunal for reconsideration in the light of the decision of the Court.

An appeal does not lie to the Court of Appeal against any interlocutory decision, determination or order of the Tribunal unless leave to appeal has been granted by the Court of Appeal or the Tribunal.

Time frame

What is the usual time frame for appeal or judicial review?

An application for the review of a decision of the competition authority must be made within 30 days of the day on which the determination was made. The Tribunal may extend the time if it is satisfied that there is a good reason for doing so and no injustice would be caused as a result of the extension.

An application for a judicial review must be made within three months of the day on which the determination was made.

Enforcement practice and future developments

Enforcement record

What is the recent enforcement record and what are the current enforcement concerns of the authorities?

Since the entry into force of the Competition Ordinance on 14 December 2015, the CA has reviewed several merger cases relating to the telecommunications sector: the indirect acquisition of New World Telecommunications by Hong Kong Broadband Network, the indirect acquisition of Wharf T&T (now WTT) by private investment firms MBK Partners and TPG, and the indirect acquisition of Hutchison Global Communications by I Squared Capital. The CA decided not to commence formal investigations into any of these acquisitions. More recently, the CA reviewed Hong Kong Broadband Network’s proposed acquisition of WTT. Following a public consultation on the original commitments offered by the parties, the CA conditionally cleared the transaction on 17 April 2019 subject to revised commitments. The transaction will reduce the major operators in the relevant market from four to three. The CA expressed concerns about the difficulties of competing fixed network operators in accessing the telecommunications network within certain buildings already served by the merging parties. The revised commitments facilitate access to the telecommunications system and enable competing operators to provide fixed telecommunications services in those buildings. The CA was also concerned about the risk that downstream rivals who have entered into wholesale agreements with the merging parties might become captive customers of the merged entity during a transitional period and therefore be less able to compete with the merged entity. To allow sufficient time for downstream rivals to switch service providers if necessary, the revised commitments extended the period during which the merged entity must continue to provide fixed telecommunication services on existing or no less favourable terms to wholesale customers from two years to three years. The parties have agreed to submit written reports on compliance with these revised commitments to the CA every six months.

Reform proposals

Are there current proposals to change the legislation?

It is clearly unusual for a merger control regime to apply to one sector only and there have been calls from some quarters for the scope of the regime to be extended to cover the rest of the economy in Hong Kong. The government has undertaken to review the Competition Ordinance a few years after it came into effect. In this context, the Commission has indicated that it would advocate for certain aspects of the Competition Ordinance to be revised, including the introduction of a cross-sector merger control regime. The recent proposed acquisition of Hong Kong Express by Cathay Pacific, which is not reviewable under the Merger Rule, has triggered a fresh wave of concerns over the lack of a cross-sector merger control regime. However, it remains to be seen whether the Merger Rule will be broadened in the future and in what time frame.

Update and trends

Key developments of the past year

What were the key cases, decisions, judgments and policy and legislative developments of the past year?

No updates at this time.