Since they were first issued in March 2002 and revised in 2010, legal practitioners have relied on the service standards issued by the Competition Commission to serve as a guidance to its clients as to the anticipated turnaround time to receive a merger decision.

The Commission has again revised its service standards, with effect from 1 April 2015, such that large mergers are now anticipated to require at least 120 business days to investigate where the merger is a phase 3 (complex) merger.

Previously, the Commission’s service standards indicated that all phase 3 (complex) mergers – intermediate or large – would be investigated and finalised within 60 business days.

Having considered its actual average turnaround times for complex large mergers in particular, the Commission saw fit to revise its service standards to align them with realistic expectations of parties to mergers of this nature.

Phase 3 intermediate mergers are still expected to take 60 business days to complete and the remaining service standards have also remained the same. Particularly, 20 business days should be allowed for the Commission to complete a phase 1 (non-complex) merger investigation and 45 business days for a phase 2 (complex) investigation.

These service standards have been formulated assuming the full co-operation of the merging parties with the Commission during the merger investigation.