Notification and clearance timetable

Filing formalities

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

Aviation services sector

Merger parties have the option of notifying both completed and anticipated mergers. For anticipated mergers, notification and application can be made to MAVCOM when:

  • merger parties have a bona fide intention to proceed with the anticipated merger;
  • details of the anticipated merger are available; and
  • the anticipated merger has been, or may be, made public.

For completed mergers, notification can be made at any time, but merger parties are encouraged to do so as soon as possible after the merger is completed. There are no sanctions for failing to file, per se, but MAVCOM in its final decision can impose a financial penalty if it is satisfied the infringement was intentional or negligent.

Communications and multimedia sectors

For notification and assessment, parties should submit their transactions prior to completion. An application for authorisation of conduct can be made before, during or after submitting an application for assessment pursuant to the M&A Guidelines.

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

Aviation services sector

A party to an anticipated merger or involved in a merger is responsible for filing. MAVCOM does not presently impose such fees but will do so via regulations in future.

Communications and multimedia sectors

Licensees can apply to the MCMC for authorisation of conduct and notification and assessment. Under the M&A Guideline, the MCMC will not accept multiple parallel applications for assessment of a merger. The M&A Guidelines provide that the acquiring party (for a proposed M&A) or the merged entity or entity that has acquired control (for completed mergers) are the appropriate parties.

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

Aviation services sector

The regime is non-suspensory but parties proceed at their own commercial risk as MAVCOM has the power to unwind mergers and impose financial penalties for infringement. The duration for the assessment of an application will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Communications and multimedia sectors

In theory, the notification and assessment regime under the M&A Guideline appears to be a non-suspensory regime. Parties can proceed with the M&A without automatic sanctions.

Similarly, where parties apply for authorisation, the regime is non-suspensory as licensees can apply before, during or after submission of an assessment application. There is no requirement to seek authorisation.

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?

Not applicable.

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

No.

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

Where MAVCOM has commenced, but not completed, an investigation, it has the power to direct parties to suspend the effect of, or desist from acting in accordance with any agreement, desist from any conduct that is suspected to infringe a prohibition or to do, or refrain from doing, any act (but that shall not require the payment of money).

Public takeovers

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

Takeovers and mergers in Malaysia are subject to the Malaysian Code on Takeovers and Mergers 2010.

Documentation

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

Aviation services sector

The NAP Guidelines provide that a notification and application shall be made in the form and manner determined by MAVCOM, supported by the required documents and information. In the Notification and Application form for an anticipated merger or a merger published by MAVCOM, the information and supporting documents required by MAVCOM consist of, among others:

  • details of the parties to the merger;
  • information on the merger including description of the turnover of the merger parties, structure of the merger and change on the ownership structure of the merged entity;
  • description of the relevant aviation service market, including the relevant service market, geographic market and temporal market where applicable;
  • competitive effects of the merger including unilateral and coordinated effects of the merger, barriers to entry, and countervailing buyer power;
  • economic efficiencies (if any) including description of significant economic efficiencies and nature of the economic efficiencies; and
  • social benefits (if any) including description of significant social benefits and the nature of the social benefits.

MAVCOM may refuse to accept incomplete or incorrect applications.

Failing to disclose relevant information, evidence, documents or providing false or misleading information, evidence, documents to MAVCOM is an offence carrying a fine of up to 500,000 ringgit, imprisonment up to three years, or both.

Communications and multimedia sector

For authorisation of conduct, applicants will need to prepare Form 2 and the relevant supporting documents as stated in Annexure 3 of the AC Guidelines. The following information, among others, needs to be submitted:

  • description of the proposed conduct and any documents detailing terms of such conduct;
  • markets that the conduct is likely to affect;
  • market characteristic;
  • the time frame for which authorisation is sought;
  • benefits of the conduct from the perspective of national interest;
  • who is likely to benefit from the conduct;
  • how are the benefits distributed; and
  • how the conduct has been framed to minimise anticompetitive effect.

Failure to provide sufficient information may render the application to be invalid. If applicants knowingly give false or misleading information, they commit an offence that carries a fine of up to 20,000 ringgit, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

For notification and assessment, applicants will need to prepare Form 1 and Form 2 as well as the relevant supporting documents, full details of which can be found in Annexures 1 and 2 of the M&A Guideline.

Incomplete applications will be rejected by the MCMC. The MCMC may revoke a notice of no objection to a notification and assessment that was approved, if information provided by a licensee was materially incomplete, false or misleading. The CMA also provides that knowingly giving false information is an offence that carries a fine of up to 20,000 ringgit, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

Investigation phases and timetable

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

Aviation services sector

For notification and assessment, upon receiving a complete application, MAVCOM will first determine whether the merger or anticipated merger falls within the meaning of section 54 MACA. If it does, MAVCOM will publish a summary of the application for public consultation.

Next, MAVCOM will proceed with two phases of its assessment - Phase 1 involves evaluating the possible competitive effects through gathering of information. MAVCOM will then issue a proposed decision and publish it for public consultation. Following this, MAVCOM will make a final decision of non-infringement or proceed to Phase 2, which involves a more detailed and extensive examination of the effects of the merger or anticipated merger. A proposed decision will be published for public consultation and applicants can make written representations in response to a finding of infringement. MAVCOM will then consider public feedback and written representations before making its final decision. The duration for the assessment of an application will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

MAVCOM also has the power to investigate a merger or anticipated merger that raises competition concerns under the MACA. The process of such an investigation is not expressly spelled out.

Communications and multimedia sectors

The assessment for notification is proposed to be broken down into two phases under the M&A Guideline and is similar to MAVCOM’s approach. The Guideline also indicates time frames for investigation - Phase 1 should be completed within 30 business days from receipt of a valid Form 1 application, Phase 2 should commence within 10 business days of a valid Form 2 application and is expected to complete within 120 business days. The time frame for an investigation for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 may be completed in less or more time than indicated if the MCMC considers that it is warranted in the circumstances of the M&A being assessed.

If the MCMC reaches the view that it is likely to issue an unfavourable decision, it will issue an applicant with a statement of issues setting out its preliminary findings and the grounds on which it reaches its conclusions. The applicant will be given 30 days to respond. The MCMC will then object or not object to the merger and issue the relevant notices.

A similar process and time frames are envisaged for an authorisation application as provided in the AC Guidelines.

These timelines may be extended by the MCMC at its absolute discretion and may be reviewed by the MCMC, taking into account the practical considerations.

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

See question 17.