06
Jan

CCPC makes 70 merger & acquisition determinations in 2016

6 January 2017: The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today released details of notifiable merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Ireland in 2016. The CCPC, as the statutory body responsible for assessing the competition implications of certain mergers and acquisitions, received 67 notifications and issued 70 Determinations on transactions it assessed in 2016.

The CCPC’s primary role in the merger review process is to ensure there is not a substantial lessening of competition in the State. The CCPC’s investigations look at the possible effect of the proposed transaction on price and other potential impacts on consumers such as changes to quantity, quality, consumer choice and innovation. Mergers must be notified to the CCPC if, in the most recent financial year, the aggregate turnover in the State of the firms involved is not less than €50 million and the turnover in the State of each of two or more of the firms involved is not less than €3 million.

Key statistics relating to notified M&A activity during 2016:

  • 67 mergers were notified to the CCPC in 2016, which was slightly lower than in 2015 (78)
  • Five media mergers were notified – INM/Greer Publications, News Corp UK & Ireland/Wireless Group, Liberty Global/UTV Ireland, INM/CMNL and BBC & ITV – Britbox Joint Venture
  • One transaction notified to the CCPC in 2016, a joint venture between Marino Point Port Company and Port of Cork, was withdrawn by the parties before a Determination was issued
  • 65 transactions were cleared within 30 working days i.e. during a Phase 1 investigation, with four transactions requiring an extended Phase 1 examination and one proceeding to Phase 2
  • Phase 1 Determinations took on average 26 working days (individual case times varied between 12 and 30 working days[1]
  • Two mergers were approved subject to conditions

The CCPC also participates in EU merger advisory committees where proposed transactions may have a significant impact in Ireland. Over the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016, the CCPC was actively involved in the European Commission’s investigations into a number of proposed mergers, which included the following:

  • Orange/Jazztel
  • Staples/Office Depot
  • Hutchison 3 G UK/Telefonica
  • ABP Group/Fane Valley Group / Slaney Foods
  • Sysco/Brakes
  • Irish Life/Aviva/Glo Health

More information about the CCPC’s Mergers function, including details of all Determinations and notifications, is available at ccpc.ie.

 

[1] The Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 changed the time the CCPC has to review a proposed merger from calendar days to working days bringing the Irish merger process more in line with the EU regime.

 

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