From the scrutiny of Grab’s acquisition of Uber in South East Asia, to the termination of Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP due to a lack of Chinese merger control approval, the past year has seen various headline matters that point towards an increasingly robust merger control environment in Asia. As part of this trend, both Vietnam and Thailand had in 2018 amended their merger control laws to begin stricter review of transactions. Given these developments, merger control has come to the forefront as a critical consideration for significant transactions across Asia. It has become crucial for dealmakers to understand and consider merger control risks at the beginning stages of a deal, rather than leave it as a regulatory afterthought. A failure to do so could translate into expensive costs in terms of delayed timelines, break fees and financial penalties.
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