The Government of India vide Notification dated 29th June 2017 has removed, for a period of five years, the requirement of notifying a proposed combination to the CCI within the mandated period of 30 days from the signing of a definitive agreement in case of acquisition and / or approval by the Board of the enterprises concerned with merger or amalgamation.  The elimination of this deadline will facilitate the parties to time their filing properly and coordinate multi-jurisdictional filings, as they no longer have to bother about penal consequences due to belated filing. As India follows a suspensory regime, the parties will continue to have the incentive to file promptly after reaching an agreement because they know they will be unable to close their transaction until it has been reviewed and approved by the CCI.

Earlier, the Government of India vide Notification dated 27th March, 2017 had eased the merger control regime by providing that in cases where portion of an enterprise or division or business is being acquired, taken control of, merged or amalgamated with another enterprise, the value of assets of the said portion or division or business shall only account for the relevant assets and turnover for calculating the jurisdictional thresholds as well as for de minimis exemption.

These initiatives will significantly improve the ease of doing business in India. More importantly, it will enable CCI to channelize its scarce resources to focus on review of combination cases that are likely to adversely affect competition in India.