Office´s Procedure of the Assessment of Mergers

1. Office´s procedure of submitting the merger notification

After delivery of a Notification of a merger, the Office assesses whether it is a merger pursuant to the article 9, par. 1 of the Act, hereinafter it determines the parties to the merger and assesses whether the merger meets the notification criteria pursuant to the article 10, par. 1 of the Act. Consequently the Office assesses the merger in the view of competition.

2. Acquisition of evidence for merger assessment

In the course of the administrative proceedings the Office may identify the need to complete the documents and information which are necessary for assessment of impacts of the subjected merger on the market. First of all the Office acquires information from the parties to merger which are obliged to complete the required data correctly, completely and within the set period. In some cases it conducts a market analysis. It usually occurs in the form of market survey both in horizontal and vertical chain and among customers, suppliers, rivals, alliances, undertaking associations etc. In surveys the Office may take advantage of the analyses made by the Statistical Office, National Bank of Slovakia or other relevant institutions. Possibly the Office may also use the institute of dawn raids. 

3. The first and the second phase and the particular periods

Since the amendment to Act effective from 01.01.2012 the Office decides on mergers in two phases. Since the amendment to the Act effective from 01.07.2014 the Office issues the decision on merger within 25 working days from the receipt of a merger notification in the first phase. If the merger notification is incomplete, the deadline for issuing a decision on a merger shall be suspended from the date the Office sends the party to the proceeding call for completion the notification until the receipt of the complete notification by the party to the proceeding. Usually this decision includes the simplified reasoning. If the merger requires in-depth analysis, within the period set for the first phase the Office informs the party to the proceedings that the decision-making procedure will continue in so-called second phase. In this case the Office issues a decision on merger in 90 working days from the delivery of this information to the party to the proceedings. The Office may prolong the periods for issuing a decision (even repeatedly) with the consent of the party to the proceedings or based on his/her request, by a total of 30 working days. Details on time limits are set in the article 11 of the Act.

4. Decision on a merger

The Antimonopoly Office has three options how to decide on merger:
1.  If there are not competition concerns, the Office approves the merger.
2. If the Office identifies competition concerns, the parties to the proceedings may submit a draft of conditions removing competition concerns. If the Office accepts the conditions it approves the merger with these conditions and the parties to the merger must consequently fulfil them. However, the Office may not accept the proposed conditions, if they are not sufficient to remove competition concerns.
3. The Office may prohibit a merger.

Details on decision of the Office are set in the article 12 of the Act.
 
Last update: 15.07.2014