From 1 September 2023, new procedural merger control rules apply in the European Union. New notification forms will need to be used. More merging parties will be able to avail themselves of the Simplified Procedure.
On 20 April 2023, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a new legislative package including a new Implementing Regulation, a new Notice on Simplified Procedure and a Communication on the transmission of documents (the “Simplification Package”).
The aim of the Simplification Package, is to simplify the Commission’s merger control procedures with clearer rules and guidance and to reduce the administrative burden on notifying parties and the Commission.
The main changes are:
- Introducing new merger control filing forms (Form CO1, Short Form CO2, Form RS3 and Form RM4)
- Expanding and clarifying the categories of cases dealt with under the Simplified Procedure5
- Introducing new data requirements and facilitating increased digitalization of the merger notification process.
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1 The Form CO is the official form for standard transaction notifications under the EU Merger Regulation that do not fall under the Simplified Procedure. The new filing form is available here.
2 The Short Form CO is a simplified version of the Form CO for notification under the Simplified Procedure. The Short Form CO requires less information and evidence than the Form CO and can be used for transactions that are unlikely to raise significant competition concerns in the EU. The new filing form is available here.
3 The Form RS is a document that parties to a transaction can submit to the Commission to request a referral of the case to one or more national competition authorities of the EU member states, or to the Commission. The new form is available here.
4 The Form RM is a document that parties to the transaction must submit to the Commission in relation to submission of Commitments (remedies). The new form is available here.
5 The Simplified Procedure was first introduced by the Commission in 2000 for certain categories of mergers deemed unlikely to raise competition concerns. In 2013, the Commission adopted a ‘simplification package’, expanding the categories of simplified cases and reducing the information requirements for simplified merger notifications. The 2023 Simplification Package further amends and modernizes these rules.