Now that the UK has formally left the EU, the risk of divergent views between the EC and the CMA has begun to materialize, notwithstanding the fact that the authorities reach the same conclusion in the vast majority of cases.
The Cargotec/Konecranes merger exemplifies the risks for deal clearance. The transaction was notified to both the EC and the CMA (as well as in the US). Both authorities expressed concerns over the merger's effects on competition. While the EC accepted the proposed remedies and cleared the transaction, the CMA blocked the merger, as it considered the same remedy package was insufficient to address its concerns.
Another example of divergent approaches is Meta/Kustomer, where the EC's Phase 2 investigations did not discourage the CMA and the German competition authority from clearing the transaction in Phase 1. In S&P/IHS, while both authorities cleared the merger with remedies in Phase 1, the scope of the remedies differed such that the merging parties had to offer a wider remedy package to address the concerns of each regulator. The divergence between the CMA and the EC will also likely continue to be a risk for companies to manage going forward—the recently announced Booking/Etraveli merger was cleared by the CMA in Phase 1, but is currently being investigated by the EC in Phase 2.
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