Statistics compiled by A&L Goodbody indicate that the number of mergers and acquisitions notified to the Irish Competition Authority fell by more than 47% in 2008, compared to statistics for the previous year. As expected, this decrease reflected a fall in M&A activity in in 2008. There were significantly fewer acquisitions were also made in the financial services and media sectors last year.

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In 2008, a total of 38 M&A transactions were notified to the Authority, 35 of which were cleared in the course of a Phase I investigation. As illustrated in the following chart, the average number of days taken by the Authority to clear a merger notification following a Phase I investigation was 21 calendar days, which represents a substantial improvement over previous years.

Interestingly, 16% of all notifications made in 2008 involved "private equity" and/or "venture capital" buyers. This was broadly in line with figures from 2007 during which "private equity" and/or "venture capital" buyers were involved in 15% of Irish M&A activity. So far in 2009, there have been a total of 3 notifications made to the Authority, a rise of one when compared with the same period for 2008.