Best Practices on Cooperation between EU National Competition Authorities in Merger Review
The national competition authorities of the EU who have responsibility for merger review (“NCAs”) operate in compliance with different national legal systems. They believe, however, that it is desirable to cooperate in the review of some mergers which meet the requirements for notification or investigation in more than one Member State (“multi-jurisdictional mergers”), and have therefore decided jointly to publish an agreed set of Best Practices on Co-operation in Merger Review. This document, which has been drawn up by the EU Merger Working Group, sets out the Best Practices which the NCAs, to the extent consistent with their respective laws and enforcement priorities, aim to follow when they review the same merger transaction. It also sets out the steps that merging parties and third parties are encouraged to take in order to facilitate cooperation between NCAs. Cooperation extending beyond the existing ECA Notice system is limited to NCAs who are reviewing the same merger transaction (“the NCAs concerned”). It is not intended that cooperation should provide a forum whereby NCAs not concerned will be involved in the review of a specific case. This document is intended to provide a non-binding reference for cooperation between NCAs. NCAs reserve their full discretion in the implementation of these Best Practices and nothing in this document is intended to create new rights or obligations which may fetter that discretion.