Reed Smith Client Alerts

The COVID-19 health emergency has affected every aspect of business, law, and life itself. In this respect, the competition law paradigm has not remained immune. Competition law authorities and legislative bodies in various jurisdictions have been scrambling to enact measures to mitigate the disruption caused. Set out below are some of the key developments and policies that have been put in place and have a direct impact on how competition law both safeguards the interests of consumers and oversees business compliance.
London city view from under a bridge

Merger Control

Many jurisdictions have delayed or extended merger review timeframes. Some have even asked companies to postpone notifying non-essential mergers. 

  • European Union

The European Commission (Commission), for instance, has stated in its notice that, where possible, companies are encouraged to delay merger notifications until further notice. This is attributed to the fact that the Commission may face difficulties in collecting information from third parties (customers, competitors, suppliers) and also due to issues arising from remote working policies. Transactions currently in the pre-notification process will be subject to delay until further notice. Acquirers and merging parties are advised to build additional time into their transaction timetables.

The Commission is temporarily accepting and actively encouraging the digital submission of documents to the relevant case team. The notice did not comment on how the ongoing investigations will be affected. It is envisaged that these will continue to be investigated within the necessary timeframe to the extent possible.