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Pre-merger competition review has advanced significantly since its creation in 1976 in the United States. As this book evidences, today almost all competition authorities have a notification process in place – with most requiring pre-merger notification for transactions that meet certain prescribed minimum thresholds. This book provides an overview of the process in 45 jurisdictions as well as a discussion of recent decisions, strategic considerations and likely upcoming developments. The intended readership of this book comprises both in-house and outside counsel who may be involved in the competition review of crossborder transactions.
As shown in further detail in the chapters, some common threads in institutional design underlie most of the merger review mandates, although there are some outliers as well as nuances that necessitate careful consideration when advising clients on a particular transaction. Almost all jurisdictions either already vest exclusive authority to transactions in one agency or are moving in that direction (e.g., Brazil, France and the UK).
For transactions that raise competition issues, the need to plan and to coordinate among counsel has become particularly acute. As discussed in the last chapter, it is no longer prudent to focus merely on the larger mature authorities, with the expectation that other jurisdictions will follow their lead or defer to their review. In the current environment, obtaining the approval of jurisdictions such as Brazil and China can be as important as the approval of the EU or US. Moreover, the need to coordinate is particularly acute to the extent that multiple agencies decide to impose conditions on the transaction. This book should provide a useful starting point in navigating cross-border transactions in the current enforcement environment.