Portugal. The Portuguese Competition Authority adopted guidelines on remedies in merger control investigations on 28 July 2011, following public consultation launched in November 2010. From a procedural perspective, the guidelines differ in some respects from the European regime. For example, there are no fixed time limits to submit remedies. However, the guidelines state that it would be advisable for parties to submit remedies within the first 20 working days of a Phase I investigation and within the first 40 working days of a Phase II investigation.
The guidelines also state that, in key stages of the procedure, the authority will hold meetings with the parties to allow them to better understand the concerns of the authority and the need and timing for remedies. During Phase II investigations, in addition to arranging meetings with the parties, the authority will also try to convey its concerns by issuing a draft decision in order to allow the parties to submit remedy proposals in good time. The authority will have to organize a second hearing for interested parties, if the initial draft decision is substantially altered as a result of new proposed remedies.
Germany. Legislative amendments to further align German competition law with EU competition law are under discussion. Proposed key changes are that (i) the Significant Impediment of Effective Competition test (“SIEC test”) would be introduced, (ii) the market share threshold for the presumption of single firm dominance would be raised to 40 percent, (iii) the timetable in merger control proceedings would automatically be extended if the parties offer remedies and (iv) the waiting period may be suspended if parties do not respond to information requests. Any amendment to the existing regime are unlikely to enter into force before 2013.
Russia. On 17 September 2011, the State Duma passed the “third package of amendments” to the Russian competition law in the second reading, the draft having been approved in the first reading on 9 September 2011. One following reading will take place. With regard to merger control, the bill currently contains several proposals aimed at taking a broader approach in order to reduce the volume of filings submitted to the FAS. The bill also provides that foreign-to-foreign transactions are only subject to Russian merger control if the turnover of the target company in the Russian market in the last calendar year was in excess of 1 billion roubles (approx. €24.75 million or US$35.90 million).
Slovenia. A recent amendment to the Prevention of Restriction of Competition Act restructures the competent authority, the Competition Protection Office (“CPO”), into an independent agency as of 1 January 2012. Slovenian merger rules are largely harmonized with the EU Merger Regulation, and notification to the CPO is mandatory when the following jurisdictional thresholds are met: (i) the combined aggregate annual turnover of all undertakings concerned exceeds €35 million on the Slovenian market and (ii) either the annual turnover of the target exceeds €1 million on the Slovenian market or, in the event of the creation of a joint venture, the annual turnover of at least two participating undertakings exceeds €1 million on the Slovenian market.