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In brief

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.

Click here to read the full alert.

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.


Gavin Bushell is a partner in the European & Competition Law Practice Group in Brussels, where he advises clients on EU competition and merger control law.
He has 20 years of experience practicing law and is a frequent speaker at legal conferences, particularly on merger control matters. In 2020, Gavin was listed as one of a limited number of practitioners in the Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Competition 2020.
Gavin is individually ranked in Chambers & Partners Global - Belgium for Competition Law in Band 3. "Clients say that Gavin Bushell is "extremely business-oriented, which makes it very easy to talk to him and to explain the practical issues." He is a key figure in the firm's competition team, regularly advising on EU merger investigations and assisting with the co-ordination of supporting global filings. Clients appreciate his ability to handle international mandates, saying: "He has huge experience in cross-border or multi-jurisdictional filings"."
In March 2012, Gavin was named by Global Competition Review as one of the top 40 of the world's leading competition practitioners under the age of 40 in its 40 under 40 survey. He is author of a number of articles on EU competition and merger control law.


Paul Johnson is a partner in Baker McKenzie Brussels' European & Competition Law Practice. He is an English qualified solicitor and has been practicing in Brussels and the UK for almost 15 years. Paul regularly represents clients on competition matters before the European Commission and has provided competition law advice with respect to over 100 jurisdictions around the world.
In December 2020, Paul was named by Rising Stars Award Europe 2020 as one of ten rising stars in competition and antitrust in Europe, and is also listed as a future leader in competition law by Who’s Who legal. He is the author of award winning articles on EU, UK and global competition law.


Lisa Weinert is a German-qualified Rechtsanwältin working as a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's European Competition & Regulatory Affairs Practice in Brussels. Before joining Baker McKenzie in 2016, she worked as an associate in another international law firm in Brussels. Her qualification training (Referendariat) involved stages at the European Commission's DG Competition (Energy mergers unit) and the German Federal Cartel Office (merger policy department).

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