The turnover thresholds under which a proposed transaction must be notified to Ireland's Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the "CCPC") are likely to be increased shortly.
On 2 October 2018, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (the "Minister") signed the Competition Act 2002 (Section 27) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 388 of 2018) (the "Order"). The Order represents the first proposed increase to the current thresholds since their introduction on 31 October 2014.
Currently, a merger or acquisition must be notified to the CCPC when, in their respective most recent financial years: (i) the combined turnover in the State/Republic of Ireland of all the undertakings involved was EUR 50 million or more and (ii) the individual turnover in the State of at least two undertakings involved was EUR 3 million or more.
Under the new thresholds, a proposed transaction must be notified to the CCPC if, in their respective most recent financial years: (i) the undertakings involved had a combined turnover in the State of at least EUR 60 million; and (ii) at least two undertakings involved had individual turnover in the State of at least EUR 10 million.
There will be no change to Ireland's media mergers regime, for which special jurisdictional rules apply.
The signing of the Order follows a public consultation by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (the "DBEI"). The DBEI cited several reasons for the possible changes including the costs of submitting CCPC filings allied to the requirement to notify certain transactions with inherently localised effects on competition (e.g., the acquisition of office buildings, shopping centres and hotels).
The new thresholds, if confirmed by the Irish legislature, will apply from 1 January 2019.