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New guidelines in merger control

Updated on:
With effect from 16 September 2014 the Office applies, within soft law on mergers, new guidelines aim to further clarify specific terms related to the merger assessment. The novelties refer to changes adopted by the amendment to the Act on Protection of Competition as well as Decree laying down details of particulars of a notification of concentration (Vyhláška o náležitostiach oznámenia koncentrácie) effective since 1 July 2014.

Within the introduced novelty related to the possibility of undertakings concerned to submit a simplified notification using a simplified form, the Office issues Guideline on details of simplified notification of concentration (Usmernenie o podrobnostiach pri zjednodušenom oznámení koncentrácie). This Guideline specifies merger cases where it is possible to submit the simplified notification. On the other hand it determines the most frequent exemptions; it means cases where in spite of the fulfilment of basic criteria for simplified notification the specific circumstances occur that justify further investigation of merger, and thus a possible broader extent of required information and documents.

Guideline on details of granting an exemption from the prohibition of merger implementation (Usmernenie o podrobnostiach udelenia výnimky zo zákazu implementácie koncentrácie)
 reflects new legal regulation providing for the possibility of undertaking to ask for an exemption to the statutory prohibition to exercise the rights and obligations resulting from the transaction until the decision of the Office has been issued. In this Guideline the Office further explains the procedural rules of proceedings on granting an exemption. Guideline also comprises the most common examples of cases and acts for which the exemption could be granted, as well as examples of the acts that are generally not suitable for exemption from the prohibition.

The Office intends to regularly supplement the guidelines with interesting cases occuring in its practice.

The Office positively recommends the undertakings to take advantage of the opportunity to consult the cases less formally through pre-notification contacts(prednotifikačných kontaktov).

The Office also revised Guideline on restriction of competition relating to concentration and necessary for its implementation (Usmernenie o obmedzeniach hospodárskej súťaže, ktoré priamo súvisia s koncentráciou a sú nevyhnutné na jej uskutočnenie), but only in technical view relating to renumbering of legal provisions by the amendment to the Act. There have been no substantive changes.