The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the EC Merger Regulation (Council Regulation 139/2004) that took effect in 2004. The Regulation contains rules for merger control in the European Economic Area including, among other things, jurisdictional thresholds for when transactions must be notified, as well as referral mechanisms that allow for the review of a transaction to be referred between the Commission and EU Member States. Under the terms of the Merger Regulation itself, the Commission must report to the EU Council of Ministers on the functioning of these jurisdictional and referral rules by 1 July 2009.

At the outset, the Commission reports that, in its experience, the Merger Regulation has functioned well. The Commission has, however, opened a public consultation on the Merger Regulation and states that comments received from stakeholders through this process will be a key aspect in its ultimate report. Comments on the Merger Regulation's jurisdictional thresholds and the referral mechanisms should be submitted to the Commission by 1 December 2008.