ETHIOPIA

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Content last updated: 26-03-2020

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  • Merger Control Regime
  • Merger Screening

1. Supranationality

1.1 Membership of Supranational Organization

1.1.1 Is the jurisdiction a member of/party to a supranational jurisdiction?

Ethiopia is a member of the African Economic Community (AEC).

1.1.2 Is the jurisdiction itself a supranational jurisdiction?

No.

1.1.3 If the answer to Section 1.1.1 and/or 1.1.2 above is in the affirmative, what are the implications hereof?

As a member of the African Economic Community (AEC), Ethiopia is subject to the supranational authority of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is a free trade area and is one of the pillars of the AEC.

This means that if the concentration meets the turnover thresholds applicable for COMESA’s merger control regime, the concentration must be notified to COMESA and Ethiopia is precluded from applying its own domestic merger control rules to the transaction.

However, this is not entirely supported by national law in every member state.

In member states where there is no established domestic competition authority there is generally not an issue, but in states where there is a competition authority, the issue becomes more complex and risky, since undertakings may face significant penalties for failing to notify a domestic authority.

Kenya, for instance, explicitly requires domestic notification.

Only some other domestic authorities have confirmed that domestic notification is not required if COMESA is notified.

1. What type of transactions are caught by the merger control regime?

1.1 Concentrations

1.1.1 Type of transactions that are caught by the merger control rules?

A transaction is caught by the merger control rules if:

- two or more previously independent undertakings or parts of undertakings merge; or

- the acquisition, by one or more persons, or by one or more undertakings, whether by purchase of shares, securities or assets or by any other means, of direct or indirect control of another undertaking; or

- two or more undertakings pool the whole or part of their resources for the purpose of carrying on a certain commercial activity.

2. Establishing jurisdiction for notification of mergers

2.3 General thresholds

2.3.1 Threshold(s) for when a concentration must be notified under the general merger control regime?

Merger filing is needed if the combined asset value or turnover of the undertakings concerned exceeded ETB 30,000,000 in Ethiopia in the last financial year.

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