On 3 July 2007 the Belgian Competition Council announced the publication of new specific rules for the simplified notification of concentrations, replacing the notice on simplified procedure of 2002.
The simplified notification can be used when the companies concerned have a market share of no more than 25 per cent of the relevant market, or, under certain conditions, when there is no indication that a concentration would significantly impede competition. Decisions on simplified notifications are taken, by way of simple letter, issued by the Auditor and not by the Competition Council.
The simplified notification procedure has several advantages: (i) less administrative burden for the companies, as only a shorter notification form has to be filed; (ii) a shorter procedure in which companies should in principle get clearance within 20 working days; and (iii) less work for the Competition Authorities so they can focus on more harmful concentrations and restrictive practices.
Auditors may reject a request for a simplified procedure under certain conditions. In this case the standard notification requirements apply as of the date of the Auditor’s rejection letter.