Merger Control – The French competition Authority launches an online notification procedure for transactions that do not raise competition concerns
- Transactions where the acquirer does not operate in the same markets as those on which the target companies are operating, or in upstream, downstream or related markets (which includes most of the operations carried out by investment funds);
- transactions in the field of food distribution that do not result in a change in the brand name of the retail store or stores involved;
- transactions in the field of automotive distribution.
What are the benefits for companies?
The major advantage is to benefit from a shortened review period which goes from approximately 5 to 3 weeks (without however a formal obligation on the part of the Authority).
On the other hand, this electronic form does not constitute a simplification of the information to be provided compared to the already existing simplified form. It simply offers the possibility of an electronic sending.
How does this work in practice?
Two separate forms are provided: one for pre-notification and one for formal notification of the transaction. The notifying company must first create an account on the site www.demarches-simplifiees.fr. The form is available in French only.
The pre-notification form can be modified at any time, which facilitates the dialogue with the case-team. The official notification form cannot be modified once submitted. Finally, the Authority takes the precaution of emphasizing that acknowledgments of receipt do not mean that the file is complete.
It remains to be seen in practice if this dematerialized form will bring the expected effects in terms of reduction of the review period.