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What are the potential outcomes of a merger control investigation in Russia?

As a result of considering pre-acquisition filings, the Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) will issue one of the following decisions:

  • approval of the transaction or merger without limitations;
  • extension of the review period for up to two additional months and postponement of clearance, where the proposed transaction or merger may restrict competition;
  • extension of the review period up to nine months and postponement of clearance until certain parties fulfil binding conditions issued by the FAS;
  • extension of the review period and postponement of clearance with respect to a transaction or merger relating to foreign investments in strategic sectors of the Russian economy, until the filing under the specific foreign strategic investment rules has been made and approval granted;
  • approval of the transaction or action and issuance of a binding prescription which imposes on the parties obligations aimed at promoting competition, if such transaction or action will or may lead to a restriction of competition. Such obligations can be both structural and behavioural; or
  • prohibition of the transaction or action on the grounds that:
    • it restricts or may restrict competition in the Russian market;
    • the required information has been found to be false or has not been provided by the applicant at the request of the FAS; or
    • the Government Commission on Monitoring Government Investment has blocked the transaction or respective merger on the basis of foreign investment restrictions in strategic sectors of the Russian economy.

FAS approval is valid for one year from its issuance date. This means that the parties have one year to close the transaction or complete another action.

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