Global merger control: Navigating stormy seas

There have been a number of developments in merger control in 2020 and Q1 2021. Some are related to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, while others are borne out of the ambitions and changes sought by individual competition authorities or unexpected jurisprudence

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Early on in the Coronavirus crisis, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition (DG Comp) sent a daunting message to businesses across the world when it recommended that the parties delay their merger notifications where possible. DG Comp warned it would likely "face difficulties in collecting information from third parties, such as customers, competitors and suppliers" and may "face limitations in terms of access to information and databases" due to remote working measures.

However, it only took a short time for the directorate-general to adapt and it soon began encouraging companies to submit merger notifications through electronic platforms such as the Merger Registry or the eTrustEx platform, and things slowly got back to a new normal.

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