Simplifying EU merger control: will it really reduce burden on business?

In March 2013 the European Commission consulted on proposals to simplify procedures under the EU merger regulation. The proposals received heavy criticism from respondents to the consultation, who disputed whether the measures would actually result in reduced burden for business.

Despite this, the European Commission ploughed ahead with its reforms, and has now, albeit with some tweaks to address comments from respondents, adopted a package of measures (the simplification package) that it claims will ‘reduce the administrative burden and cost for business at a time when it needs it most’.

The reforms will apply from 1 January 2014. Businesses in the process of considering transactions that may require an EU filing should make sure they are aware of the changes and how they will impact the notification process. The simplification package covers three main areas…

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