Ben Forbes and Mat Hughes, co-authors of the book UK Merger Control: Law and Practice, published a three-part series in Competition Bulletin focusing on the voluntary nature of UK merger control, the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) workload post-Brexit, and steps to manage the likely increase in that workload.
At a glance
- Post-Brexit, the CMA will have sole responsibility to assess mergers that affect UK markets.
- This change raises the question of whether the UK system should be made mandatory, as it is in most countries.
- But mandatory regimes may fail to capture all anti-competitive mergers and delay mergers that are not problematic.
- Brexit also means that the UK authorities will have sole responsibility for enforcing all competition law in the UK.
- Removing the "share of supply" test and integrating the CMA's Phase 1 and Phase 2 review teams are often-discussed but poor options for reducing workload.
- CMA’s proposed changes to the de minimis thresholds are sensible, but it's unclear whether this will substantially reduce workload.
Read parts one, two, and three.