The absence of prior notice of mergers may result in significant fines without breaching the principle of proportionality
A series of judgments recently handed down by national and European authorities and courts has recalled the high financial consequences that may be borne by companies that have failed to notify and have implemented their merger without authorisation from the competent competition authority.
For the record, the commission can impose fines of up to 10 per cent of the total turnover of the companies concerned. In France, the fine imposed by the Competition Authority can be as much as five per cent of the turnover recorded by the buyer in France, increased by, as the case may be, the turnover recorded by the target in France during the same period. These sanctions are incurred even if the transaction is later authorised by the competent authorities. This implies that companies must evaluate whether their transaction requires a control by competition authorities, which can sometimes be complex, especially when acquiring a minority shareholding…
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