Competition Law News & Updates

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February 3, 2014
COMPETITION UPDATE
Russia

28 December 2013 - Federal Law No. 423-FZ has brought amendments to the Federal Law On Protection of Competition in the field of merger control. Aimed at reducing the administrative burden on medium-sized businesses and allowing the antimonopoly bodies to focus on transactions most likely to affect competition, it exempts certain transactions from the ex-post notification duty set in Section 30 of the Law. Section 30 provided for an obligation to notify, within 45 days of completion, deals which reached certain thresholds but which did not require prior notification to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The amendment abolishes such requirement for small corporate deals and certain intra-group transactions. It came into force on 30 January 2014.

See GCL No 46.18

January 27, 2014
COMPETITION UPDATE
USA

17 January 2014. The Federal Trade Commission has released the annual HSR notification thresholds above which a premerger notification must be filed and the implementation of the transaction suspended. The new thresholds, which should be applicable by the end of February 2014 are as follows:

-          size-of-transaction threshold applying cumulatively with the size-of-person threshold: $75.9 million (as opposed to $70.9 million for 2013)

-          size-of-transaction threshold applicable regardless of the size-of-person threshold: $303.4 million (as opposed to $283.6 million for 2013)

-          size-of-person thresholds: $15.2 million (as opposed to $14.2 million for 2013) and $151.7 million (as opposed to $141.8 million for 2013).

See GCL No 53.46.

January 27, 2014
COMPETITION UPDATE
Portugal

Decree-law No 166/2013 of 27 December 2013 has repealed and replaced Decree-law No 370/93 relating to individual restrictive trade practices. Like the previous provisions, Decree-law No 166/2013 contains provisions on discriminatory pricing, resale below cost, refusals to sell and other unfair practices. Apart from clarifying the definition of the infringing behavior, the new provisions bring changes in the method of setting fines. While increasing the amount of the fines incurred, they also take better account of the particular financial situation of the undertakings concerned. Whereas investigations under Decree-law No 370/93 were conducted by the Competition Authority under the supervision of the ASAE (Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica - the authority in charge for Food and Economic Safety), the implementation of Decree-law No 166/2013 will be carried out by the ASAE alone. Decree-law No 166/2013 will enter into force on 25 February 2014.

See GCL, No 23.01.

January 27, 2014
COMPETITION UPDATE
Ireland

20 December 2013. The Irish Competition Authority has published new Guidelines for Merger Analysis giving guidance on how the Authority “decides whether or not a merger will substantially lessen competition, and therefore whether it can go ahead or not”.

The 2013 Guidelines thoroughly update the previous 2002 Guidelines based on the Authority's experience (approximately 600 mergers were reviewed since 2002) and in accordance with international best practices. 

They change concentration thresholds and bring greater clarity to central issues of merger control.  

See GCL Nos 15.18 et seq

January 27, 2014
COMPETITION UPDATE
Canada

20 January 2014. The Competition Bureau has announced the new merger notification thresholds for 2014.

Only the “transaction-size” threshold, relating to the value of assets acquired, is affected. It will increase from $80 million (US$ 72.2 million) to $82 million (US$ 74 million).

The “size-of-parties” threshold, which provides that the parties to the transaction, together with affiliates, must have assets or annual gross revenues from sales in, to or from Canada, in excess of C$ 400 million (US$ 361.2 million) remains unchanged.

The new threshold should be applicable by the end of January 2014.

See GCL No 33.26

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