Merger control guidelines in Europe and around the world are continuing to shift. Organisations are facing a range of uncertainties in terms of how government authorities are handling current business, regulatory and economic turbulence, and what the implications will be for merger clearance decisions.
Merger control approaches and practices will be a key topic of discussion at the upcoming Advanced EU Competition Law conference in Brussels on 21-23 November. The impact of data will be a notable component in conversations around what to expect in merger control in the coming year, as well as how organisations can prepare for increased complexities during regulatory examination of proposed transactions, as regulators in the UK, U.S. and across Europe are pursuing increasingly broad requests for qualitative information — such as internal communications, strategy documents and other records that span outside of financial reporting — during merger review, as they look to understand what company employees are actually saying about the proposed merger. There will also be a focus on how corporations, and their outside counsel, can benefit by pivoting their approach to collecting, reviewing and producing documents during a merger control review from being purely reactive and procedural, to being proactive and strategic.
I’ll be discussing these issues at the conference, alongside Richard Romney, Director of Mergers at the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, Pierre Moullet, Senior Legal Counsel (Competition Lead) at Nokia, Olivia Hagger, Head of Antitrust at London Stock Exchange Group and Axel Schulz, Partner at White & Case. Our session, Merger Control in Practice: Handling the New Uncertainty, will cover:
- How to deal with Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation and voluntary merger regimes such as the U.K. in SPA negotiations.
- Best approaches and strategies in light of Article 22.
- CMA’s approach and focus as a leading global regulator.
- Multi-jurisdictional mergers, and advice for managing conflicting decisions from different authorities.
- The role of data as a key factor in validating (or undermining) a merger’s position and organisation credibility.
- Preparation, evidence collection, and how best to deal with information requests.
- How regulators approach killer acquisitions and the significance of data in those reviews.
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