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Content last updated: 09-05-2019

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  • Merger Control Regime
  • Merger Screening
  • Merger Filing

1. Overall description of merger control regime

1.1 Supranationality

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

Yes. Malta is a member state of the European Union.

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?

The EU Merger Regulation is based on a "one-stop-shop" principle. This implies that if the thresholds in Article 1 of the EU Merger Regulation are met, the transaction will only have to be notified to the European Commission.

Consequently, the national authorities of the Member States will as a general rule be precluded from applying their own merger control rules to the transaction.

Where the transaction is not covered by the EU Merger Regulation and falls within the Control of Concentrations Regulations, the Office for Competition (Malta) will examine the notification.

2. Nature of merger control regime

2.1 Mandatory or voluntary

2.1.1 Is filing mandatory or voluntary?

Filing is mandatory, if the thresholds described in Section 2.3.1 under the Merger Screening Schedule are met.

2.2 Suspensory effect

2.2.1 Must completion of the transaction await clearance by the relevant authorities?

Transactions shall be notified to the Office for Competition (Malta) prior to the implementation and following the conclusion of the agreement, the announcement of a public bid, or the acquisition of controlling interest.

In practice, however, the Office for Competition has accepted notifications where the parties were able to show a good faith intention to conclude an agreement.

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 it brings a change of control on a lasting basis resulting from:

a) the merger of two or more previously independent undertakings or parts of undertakings; or

b) the acquisition, by one or more persons already controlling at least one undertaking, or by one or more undertakings, whether by purchase of securities or assets, by contract or by any other means, of direct or indirect control of the whole or parts of one or more other undertakings;

whether occurring in Malta or outside Malta.

1.2 Joint ventures

1.2.1 What types of joint ventures are caught by the merger control rules?

The creation of joint ventures performing on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous economic entity resulting in permanent structural market change, i.e. a so-called "full function" joint venture.

1.3 Definition of "control"

1.3.1 How are the concepts of "control" and "change of control" defined?

“Control" is defined as the possibility of exercising decisive influence on an undertaking, in particular, (i) through ownership or the right to use all or part of the assets of an undertaking; or (ii) through rights or contracts which confer decisive influence on the composition, voting or decisions of the organs of an undertaking. Decisive influence can be exercised by persons or undertakings (a) which are holders of the rights or entitled to rights under the contracts concerned; or (b) who, while not being holders of such rights or entitled to rights under such contracts, have the power to exercise the rights deriving therefrom.

It has to be decided on the facts in each case, whether there is a possibility of exercising decisive influence over an undertaking. Decisive influence can be de jure in the form of acquisition of the majority of the voting rights or through special rights; or de facto based on a historic pattern of attendance at general meetings.

Only transactions that bring a lasting "change of control" to the undertakings concerned and in the structure of the market are covered by the Control of Concentrations Regulations. Thus, transactions resulting only in a temporary change of control, such as for instance a transitory transaction, are not covered.

1.4 Minority shareholdings

1.4.1 Are minority and other interests less than control caught by the merger control rules?

Acquisitions of minority or other interests that do not lead to an acquisition of control do not fall within the Control of Concentrations Regulations and will not be considered by the Office for Competition (Malta).

2. Establishing jurisdiction for notification of mergers

2.1 Merging parties/undertakings concerned

2.1.1 Which undertakings are considered parties to the merger ("undertakings concerned") in the various types of transactions identified under Section 1.1.1 and 1.2.1.

In a merger, the "undertakings concerned" are each of the merging entities.

In an acquisition of control, the undertakings concerned may vary depending on the characteristics of the transaction.

In case of acquisition of sole control, the undertakings concerned are the acquiring undertaking consisting of all entities belonging to the same group (i.e. parent, subsidiaries, sister companies, etc.) and the target undertaking (i.e. not including the seller).

In case of acquisition of joint control of a newly created joint venture, the undertakings concerned are each of the undertakings jointly acquiring control. The same applies where one undertaking contributes a pre-existing subsidiary or a business (over which it exercises sole control) to a newly created joint venture.

In case of acquisition of joint control over a pre-existing undertaking or business, the undertakings concerned are each of the undertakings acquiring joint control, and the pre-existing acquired undertaking.

- In case of entry of a new shareholder in a pre-existing joint venture, which leads to a change in the quality of control for the remaining controlling shareholders, the undertakings concerned are the newly entering controlling shareholder alongside with the remaining controlling shareholders. 

In case where a pre-existing, full-function joint venture acquires control over another undertaking, the undertakings concerned are the joint venture (i.e. not including the parent companies) and the target undertaking. Where a joint venture is mere acquisition vehicle, the undertakings concerned are in such situation the parent companies to the joint venture and the target undertaking.

In case of change from joint control to sole control, the undertakings concerned are the undertaking acquiring the sole control and the joint venture. The other "existing" shareholder (i.e. the seller) is not considered an undertaking concerned.

2.2 Date for establishing jurisdiction

2.2.1 Which date is relevant for concluding whether the transaction is notifiable?

Whichever date is earlier of the date of conclusion of the binding legal agreement; the announcement of a public bid or the acquisition of a controlling interest.

2.3 General thresholds

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

The transaction will have to be notified to the Office for Competition (Malta) if the following threshold is satisfied:

a) the combined aggregate turnover in Malta for the preceding financial year of the undertakings concerned exceeded EUR 2,329,373.40; and

b) each of the undertakings concerned had a turnover in Malta for the preceding financial year equivalent to at least 10 % of the combined aggregate turnover of the undertakings concerned.

2.3.2 For each threshold, can the threshold be triggered by only one party having local turnover?

No. Under the second limb of the threshold test, each of the undertakings concerned must have the requisite turnover in Malta.

2.3.3 For each threshold, can the threshold be triggered without any party having local turnover?

No.

2.3.4 Are there any circumstances where transactions falling below these thresholds may be still investigated?

No. Not under the Control of Concentrations Regulations.

2.4 Other national thresholds for ex ante merger control (e.g. sector-specific rules)

2.4.1 Relevant thresholds for sector-specific or other ex ante merger control rules?

There are no sector-specific or other ex ante merger control rules, although outside the ambit of competition law in certain industries, such as, telecommunications, financial services, gaming and resources transactions do require approval by the competent regulator.

2.4.2 Are any such schemes mandatory or voluntary?

Not applicable.

2.5 Foreign-to-foreign mergers

2.5.1 Do any exemptions, special thresholds etc. apply to foreign-to-foreign mergers, i.e. where none of the undertakings concerned is domiciled in the jurisdiction?

Transactions meeting the above thresholds have to be notified to the Office for Competition (Malta), regardless of whether the undertakings concerned are domiciled outside of Malta and regardless of whether the transaction is occurring in Malta or outside Malta.

3. Calculation and allocation of turnover, asset value, transaction value etc.

3.1 Relevant turnover

3.1.1 How is turnover defined (e.g. is income from other sources than "ordinary activities to be included, and how are rebates, taxes, internal turnover etc. treated)?

The relevant turnover to be taken into account is the net turnover related to the sale of goods and/or services in the ordinary course of business exclusive of (i) rebates; (ii) value added tax and other taxes directly related to the turnover; and (iii) group internal sales. 

3.1.2 Identification and link to any official rules, guidance etc. on how to calculate turnover?

A brief note, Guidance on Mergers & Acquisitions, provides some general information and guidance on the application of the Control of Concentrations Regulations accessible at:

https://mccaa.org.mt/media/1060/guidance_on_concentrations-1.pdf

Further, the Office of Competition (Malta) relies on the guidance provided in the European Commission’s Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice.

The Jurisdictional notice can be found on:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/legislation/draft_jn.html

3.2 Relevant period for calculation of turnover

3.2.1 Which financial year(s) is relevant for the calculation of turnover?

The turnover figure should be based on the audited annual accounts for the preceding financial year. In practice, where the audited accounts of the preceding financial year are not yet available, the figures of the year before will be used.

3.2.2 Should adjustments be made for e.g. divestitures, acquisitions, closings and other changes of the economic reality of the undertaking concerned made after or during the relevant financial year?

There is no express provision for such adjustments in the Control of Concentrations Regulations. However, adjustments should be made for any divestitures/acquisitions made during/after the latest financial year in line with the guidance provided in the European Commission’s Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice. Turnover stemming from such divested/acquired assets should be excluded/included.

3.3 Relevant undertakings for the calculation of turnover

3.3.1 The "undertakings concerned", i.e. which parties?

See Section 2.1.1 above.

3.3.2 The undertakings whose turnover is taken into account?

See the definition of the "undertakings concerned" in Section 2.1.1 above. In short, the undertakings whose turnover is taken into account comprises the entire group that the acquirer belongs to and the target's group (i.e. target and any of its wholly or jointly-owned subsidiaries).

3.3.3 Shall the turnover of the existing seller be included in the target's group turnover?

The seller's turnover shall not be included in the target's group turnover.

3.4 Geographical allocation of turnover

3.4.1 The principles for the geographical allocation of turnover?

In general, the turnover should be allocated geographically based on where the customer was located at the time of the turnover generating transaction, i.e. typically where the goods were actually delivered or services actually provided.

3.5 Valuation and allocation of assets

3.5.1 The principles for valuation and allocation of assets?

Not applicable.

3.6 Calculation of other thresholds

3.6.1 The principles for calculation of metrics for other thresholds (e.g. transaction value, market share, share of supply etc.)?

Not applicable.

3.7 Special rules

3.7.1 Do any special rules or principles apply to the calculation, allocation etc. of turnover, assets etc. for specific undertakings (e.g. State-owned undertakings, investment funds, credit and financial institutions, insurance companies, financial holding companies, others)?

The Control of Concentrations Regulations contain specific rules that apply to the calculation of turnover of credit institutions and other financial institutions and insurance undertakings.

The guidance in the European Commission’s Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice will also be applied in these cases and in the case of investment funds and stated-owned undertakings. 

3.7.2 Does any exemptions apply?

Not applicable.

1. Practical information

1.1 Responsibility for filing

1.1.1 The parties responsible for filing?

In case of acquisition of sole control, the acquirer is responsible for filing.

In case of acquisition of joint control or a merger creating a new entity, the notification must be jointly submitted.

1.2 Deadlines for filing

1.2.1 Are there any mandatory deadlines for filing, and, if so, how these are calculated?

A transaction meeting the above thresholds has to be notified to the Office for Competition (Malta) prior to its implementation and within 15 workings days following the conclusion of the agreement, the announcement of the public bid, or the acquisition of a controlling interest.

1.2.2 Are there any sanctions for not filing within the deadlines?

A fine of between €1,000 and €10,000 may be imposed by the Office of Competition (Malta).

1.3 Early filing

1.3.1 Is it possible to file before the signing of merger agreement?

There is no explicit provision on this and technically notification should be made following the conclusion of the agreement, the announcement of the public bid or the acquisition of a controlling interest within 15 working days and prior to implementation. However, in practice, the Office for Competition has accepted notifications where the parties were able to show a good faith intention to conclude an agreement.

1.4 Filing fees

1.4.1 Are there any fees for filing, and, if so, please describe how such fees are calculated?

A notification fee of EUR 163.06 must be paid by the notifying party/parties upon submission of the notification form.

1.4.2 When must the filing fee must be paid?

Upon submission of the notification form.

1.5 Publicity

1.5.1 When and in which format will the authority publish receiving a notification?

Upon notification, the Office for Competition (Malta) publishes in the Government Gazette (issued by the Government of Malta) and a daily newspaper the fact that a notification has been made, the names of the parties, the nature of the concentration and the economic sectors involved, and invites third parties to comment on the proposed transaction.

1.5.2 How will the authority in general handle the case publicly, e.g. will it usually comment in the media, send out press releases etc.?

The Office for Competition (Malta) rarely issues press releases on on-going cases of its own accord but has been seen to be doing so in the past with notifications of material importance.

Once a decision is issued, be it in Phase I or Phase II or in terms of the simplified procedure, the Office for Competition publishes a non-confidential version of the decision on its website.

1.5.3 Will third parties be able to review the notification?

Access to the file is open to the parties directly involved and is not open to third parties, although third parties may submit observations in writing and verbally to the Office of Competition (Malta).

2. Procedure and timing

2.1 Normal and simplified procedures

2.1.1 Does the regime allow for a simplified (fast track) procedure, and, if so, what are the criteria for using the simplified procedure?

The Office for Competition (Malta) allows transactions to be notified pursuant to a simplified procedure, where:

  • two or more undertakings acquire joint control of a joint venture and the turnover of the joint venture and/or the turnover of the contributed activities is less than EUR 698,812 in Malta and the total value of assets transferred to the joint venture is less than EUR 698,812 in Malta;
  • none of the business activities of the parties to the concentration overlap horizontally or vertically;
  • the activities of the parties to the concentration overlap horizontally and the parties’ combined market share is less than 15%, or
  • the parties’ activities are linked vertically and their combined market share is less than 25%.

Transactions which fall within the category of “simplified procedure” are deemed at law as not raising serious concerns. However, this presumption may be rebutted by the Office for Competition in exceptional cases and in the light of the economic conditions of the market and the parties concerned.

The simplified procedure will not be applied if the relevant markets or the parties’ market shares cannot be established with sufficient clarity. Nor will the simplified procedure be applied to a concentration having as its object or effect the coordination of the competitive behavior of undertakings that remain independent.

Under the simplified procedure, the Office for Competition issues a short-form decision declaring the concentration lawful within 4 weeks from notification. Moreover, during the 4 weeks deadline the Office for Competition retains the option of reverting to the ordinary Phase I procedure.

2.2 Procedural stages (cf. timetable below)

2.2.1 The various stages of (i) a simplified procedure and (ii) a normal procedure?

Pre-notification discussions

There are no fixed procedures or timetable for pre-notification discussions as these are voluntary discussions held upon the request of the parties. Normally, the parties approach the Office for Competition (Malta) two to six weeks before notification depending on the issues that they would like to discuss with the Office for Competition and the complexity of the transaction. This applies to both simplified and normal procedures. 

Phase I

Following notification, the procedure before the Office for Competition initiates with Phase I.

During Phase I, any of the following decisions must be taken by the Office for Competition:

  • the concentration does not fall within the scope of the Control of Concentrations Regulations;
  • the concentration is cleared without any conditions;
  • the concentration is cleared subject to conditions and obligations intended to ensure that the undertakings concerned comply with the commitments they have entered into to render the concentration lawful; or
  • the concentration raises serious doubts as to its lawfulness in terms of the provisions of the Control of Concentrations Regulations. In this case, the Office for Competition will initiate proceedings by launching an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A Phase I decision must be taken within 6 weeks from the day following that of receipt of notification or of complete information. This period will be extended to 2 months where the undertakings concerned not later than the end of the 5th week following the day of the receipt of the notification offer commitments to render the concentration lawful.

Furthermore, it is possible for the undertakings concerned, following the end of the 5-week period for submission of commitments, to request the suspension of the running of the periods within which a decision should be given for a period of 3 weeks to discuss a new or substantially revised commitment proposal. However, it is at the discretion of the Office for Competition whether or not to accede to the latter request.

Where the Office for Competition does not take a decision within the time-limits set in the Control of Concentrations Regulations, the concentration will be deemed unconditionally cleared.

The Office for Competition may revoke a decision declaring that the concentration falls outside the scope of the Control of Concentrations Regulations or that the concentration is lawful where the decision is based on incorrect information for which one of the undertakings is responsible or where such information was obtained by deceit or the undertakings concerned commit a breach of a commitment attached to the decision. In such a case, the Office for Competition may take any Phase I decision without being bound by the deadlines explained above.

Phase II

Where the concentration is subject to a Phase II investigation, any of the following decisions must be taken:

  • The concentration is lawful;
  • The concentration is cleared subject to conditions and obligations intended to ensure that the undertakings concerned comply with the commitments they have entered into to render the concentration lawful; or
  • The concentration is prohibited. In this case, if the concentration has already been implemented, the Office for Competition may require the undertakings or assets brought together to be separated or he may require the cessation of joint control or any other action to restore conditions of effective competition.

A Phase II decision must be taken as soon as it appears that the serious doubts as to the concentration’s lawfulness have been removed and at the latest within not more than 4 months of the date on which proceedings were initiated. However, if the undertakings concerned submit commitments with a view to rendering the concentration lawful following the initiation of Phase II and by not later than the end of the 3rd month following such initiation, they may request that the 4-month time limit be suspended for a period of up to 1 month for proper consideration of their commitments. This request may only be refused by the Office for Competition in exceptional circumstances.

The Phase II timeframes are suspended where the Office for Competition has had to request information by decision (as where, for instance, the notifying party or another involved party does not provide the information requested by the Office for Competition within the time limit set) or order an investigation by decision (as where the notifying party or another involved party refuses to submit to an investigation or where the notifying party fails to inform the Office for Competition of material changes in the facts described in the notification).

Where the Office for Competition does not take a decision within the time-limits set, the concentration will be deemed unconditionally cleared.

The Office for Competition may revoke a positive decision taken in Phase II or take a negative decision in Phase II without being bound by the Phase II time-frame where the decision is based on false, misleading or incomplete information for which one of the parties is responsible or where the parties breach a commitment attached to the decision.

2.2.2 Is pre-notification contact with the relevant authorities customary/obligatory/encouraged/etc.?

Pre-notification contact to the Office for Competition (Malta) is customary and encouraged in all merger proceedings, including transactions following a simplified procedure.

2.2.3 Are there any sanctions for not filing within the deadlines?

See Section 1.2.2 above.

2.3 Timetable (cf. timetable below)

2.3.1 The statutory timetable/deadlines for review of a notification?

See Section 2.2.1 above.

2.3.2 Can the statutory timetable/deadlines be suspended ("stop-the-clock"), and if so under which conditions?

During Phase I, it is possible for the undertakings concerned, following the end of the 5-week period for submission of commitments, to request the suspension of the running of the periods within which a decision should be given for a period of 3 weeks to discuss a new or substantially revised commitment proposal. However, it is at the discretion of the Office for Competition whether or not to accede to the latter request.

During Phase II, if the undertakings concerned submit commitments with a view to rendering the concentration lawful following the initiation of Phase II and by not later than the end of the 3rd month following such initiation, they may request that the 4-month time limit (applicable to Phase II) be suspended for a period of up to 1 month for proper consideration of their commitments. This request may only be refused by the Office for Competition in exceptional circumstances.

During both Phase I and Phase II, the time period will be suspended where the Office for Competition has had to request information by decision or to order an investigation by decision because:

  • information which the Office for Competition has requested from one of the notifying parties or another involved party is not provided or not provided in full within the time limit fixed by the Office for Competition;
  • information which the Office for Competition has requested from a third party is not provided or not provided in full within the time limit fixed by the Office for Competition owing to circumstances for which one of the notifying parties or another involved party is responsible;
  • one of the notifying parties or another involved party has refused to submit to an investigation deemed necessary by the Office for Competition or to cooperate in the carrying out of such an investigation;
  • the notifying parties have failed to inform the Office for Competition of material changes in the facts contained in the notification.

In these 4 cases, the suspension will lapse upon the receipt of the complete and correct information or on successful completion of the investigation, as the case may be.

2.3.3 If pre-notification with the relevant authorities contact is possible/customary, how long will the duration of such contact usually be?

There is no statutory timetable/deadline for the pre-notification period and the duration of such period may vary from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on namely the complexity of the specific transaction at hand.

3. Format and content of notification

3.1 Notification forms

3.1.1 Must the notifying parties use any mandatory notification forms, e.g. for simplified and normal procedures, and, if relevant, add a link to the relevant forms?

The Office for Competition (Malta) has a mandatory notification form for both simplified and normal procedures named Form CN (although some of the information requested is not applicable to the simplified procedure).

Please see: https://mccaa.org.mt/Section/Content?contentId=1235

3.2 Supporting documentation

3.2.1 List of the supporting documentation which must as a minimum be submitted along with the notification?

Cf. checklist below.

3.3 Originals, legalization and apostillation (cf. checklist below)

3.3.1 List of all documents which must be submitted in original/legalized versions and whether any documents must be apostilled?

Original / legalized versions of the documents should suffice. There may be instances (where documents originate from another jurisdiction) to require apostille.

3.3.2 If the merger regime has a mandatory filing deadline, must all the documents identified under Section 3.3.1 be submitted within this deadline?

Yes.

3.4 Language

3.4.1 Which languages may be used for drafting and filing a notification?

Maltese or English, although it is practice to do everything in English.

3.4.2 Does translations have to be certified/legalized and apostilled?

Translations need to be certified as a bare minimum.

Statutory timetable

Step Description Time
1

Pre-notification

Pre-notification contact to the Office for Competition (Malta) is customary and encouraged in all merger proceedings, including transactions following a simplified procedure.

There is no statutory timetable/deadline for the pre-notification period and the duration of such period may vary from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on namely the complexity of the specific transaction at hand.

2

Phase I

Simplified procedure

Transactions which fall within the category of “simplified procedure” (cf. 2.1.1 abve) are deemed at law as not raising serious concerns. However, this presumption may be rebutted by the Office for Competition in exceptional cases and in the light of the economic conditions of the market and the parties concerned.

The simplified procedure will not be applied if the relevant markets or the parties’ market shares cannot be established with sufficient clarity. Nor will the simplified procedure be applied to a concentration having as its object or effect the coordination of the competitive behavior of undertakings that remain independent.

Normal procedure

Following notification, the procedure before the Office for Competition initiates with Phase I.

During Phase I, any of the following decisions must be taken by the Office for Competition:

  • the concentration does not fall within the scope of the Control of Concentrations Regulations;
  • the concentration is cleared without any conditions;
  • the concentration is cleared subject to conditions and obligations intended to ensure that the undertakings concerned comply with the commitments they have entered into to render the concentration lawful; or
  • the concentration raises serious doubts as to its lawfulness in terms of the provisions of the Control of Concentrations Regulations. In this case, the Office for Competition will initiate proceedings by launching an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

Where the Office for Competition does not take a decision within the time-limits set in the Control of Concentrations Regulations, the concentration will be deemed unconditionally cleared.

The Office for Competition may revoke a decision declaring that the concentration falls outside the scope of the Control of Concentrations Regulations or that the concentration is lawful where the decision is based on incorrect information for which one of the undertakings is responsible or where such information was obtained by deceit or the undertakings concerned commit a breach of a commitment attached to the decision. In such a case, the Office for Competition may take any Phase I decision without being bound by the deadlines.

Under the simplified procedure, the Office for Competition issues a short-form decision declaring the concentration lawful within 4 weeks from notification. Moreover, during the 4 weeks deadline the Office for Competition retains the option of reverting to the ordinary Phase I procedure.

Under the normal procedure, a Phase I decision must be taken within 6 weeks from the day following that of receipt of notification or of complete information. This period will be extended to 2 months where the undertakings concerned not later than the end of the 5th week following the day of the receipt of the notification offer commitments to render the concentration lawful.

Furthermore, it is possible for the undertakings concerned, following the end of the 5-week period for submission of commitments, to request the suspension of the running of the periods within which a decision should be given for a period of 3 weeks to discuss a new or substantially revised commitment proposal. However, it is at the discretion of the Office for Competition whether or not to accede to the latter request.

Please be aware that "stop-the-clock" is possible (cf. 2.3.2 above).

3

Phase II

Where the concentration is subject to a Phase II investigation, any of the following decisions must be taken:

  • The concentration is lawful;
  • The concentration is cleared subject to conditions and obligations intended to ensure that the undertakings concerned comply with the commitments they have entered into to render the concentration lawful; or
  • The concentration is prohibited. In this case, if the concentration has already been implemented, the Office for Competition may require the undertakings or assets brought together to be separated or he may require the cessation of joint control or any other action to restore conditions of effective competition.

Where the Office for Competition does not take a decision within the time-limits set, the concentration will be deemed unconditionally cleared.

The Office for Competition may revoke a positive decision taken in Phase II or take a negative decision in Phase II without being bound by the Phase II time-frame where the decision is based on false, misleading or incomplete information for which one of the parties is responsible or where the parties breach a commitment attached to the decision.

Phase 2

A Phase II decision must be taken as soon as it appears that the serious doubts as to the concentration’s lawfulness have been removed and at the latest within not more than 4 months of the date on which proceedings were initiated. However, if the undertakings concerned submit commitments with a view to rendering the concentration lawful following the initiation of Phase II and by not later than the end of the 3rd month following such initiation, they may request that the 4-month time limit be suspended for a period of up to 1 month for proper consideration of their commitments. This request may only be refused by the Office for Competition in exceptional circumstances.

The Phase II timeframes are suspended where the Office for Competition has had to request information by decision (as where, for instance, the notifying party or another involved party does not provide the information requested by the Office for Competition within the time limit set) or order an investigation by decision (as where the notifying party or another involved party refuses to submit to an investigation or where the notifying party fails to inform the Office for Competition of material changes in the facts described in the notification).

Please be aware that "stop-the-clock" is possible (cf. 2.3.2 above).

  • Step 1 1
  • Step 2 2
  • Step 3 3
  • Not defined
  • 4 weeks/6 weeks + extensions
  • 4 months + extensions

Checklist

List of the supporting documentation which must as a minimum be submitted along with the notification.

Supporting documentation

This content was delivered
and last updated on 09-05-2019 by
Contact Person
Clement Mifsud-Bonnici, Associate
Contact Person 2
Sylvlann Aquilina Zahra, Consultant
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