CMA issues call for information on Phase 2 merger process

Competition Markets Authority

June 29
10:13 2023

As part of this assessment, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is today inviting views on whether there are aspects of the process that could work better.

The CMA is, in particular, seeking views on:

  • How merging businesses (and others) engage with the independent inquiry groups that take decisions in Phase 2 mergers in relation to both whether a merger raises competition concerns and possible remedies to address any concerns;

  • Whether there are barriers to using the existing procedural mechanisms intended to facilitate discussions on remedies at an early stage of the Phase 2 merger control process;

  • Whether the existing key opportunities to make written submissions and for direct in-person engagement work well; and

  • Whether there are aspects of regimes in other jurisdictions that might work well within the UK regime.

In parallel to this call for written submissions, the CMA is seeking to engage directly with a wide range of stakeholders (including businesses with experience of CMA merger investigations, legal and economic advisors on UK and international merger cases, consumer and industry groups, and other competition authorities) to reflect on what works well and any areas for improvement.

Colin Raftery, Senior Director of Mergers, said:

UK merger control investigations are already characterised by a very high degree of engagement and transparency, but were always keen to consider whether there are parts of the process that could work better.

Brexit expanded the range of mergers that the CMA looks at, as well as increasing the proportion of cases that we investigate in parallel with other international authorities.

With more than 2 years of practice to look at since we took on these additional responsibilities, we think now is a good opportunity to take stock and consider whether existing processes could be improved.

Notes to editors

  1. The call for information is live on GOV.UK until 5pm on 25 August 2023.

  2. The CMAs current focus is on changes that could be made within the existing legislation (taking into account the impact of the changes already proposed to the UK merger control regime in the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill).

  3. Following the call for information the CMA intends to publish a revised draft version of the CMAs Guidance on the CMAs jurisdiction and procedure and will consult on all propos

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