Short Reads

Swifter merger clearance and shorter merger filings in Belgium

Swifter merger clearance and shorter merger filings in Belgium

Swifter merger clearance and shorter merger filings in Belgium

05.03.2020 NL law

Companies can expect swifter merger clearance and simpler filing rules in Belgium. The Belgian Competition Authority has published a communication with additional rules concerning the simplified procedure for certain types of concentrations. As a result, a new category of concentrations will be eligible for a simplified merger filing, leading to swifter approval and lower costs. It will also allow the BCA to focus its resources on more problematic and complex files.

The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has published additional rules concerning the simplified procedure for concentrations. The communication extends the existing regime to include a new category of concentrations eligible for simplified filing.

In practice, on top of the existing category of eligible concentrations, the BCA can now also apply the simplified procedure in the following circumstances:

  • when the combined market share of all the parties to the concentration with horizontal links is less than 50% and the increase in the HHI index as a consequence of the concentration is less than 150;
  • when the combined horizontal market share is less than 50% and the incremental market share increase as a result of a concentration is below 2%.

Additionally, the BCA can apply the simplified procedure when it considers – in light of all the relevant circumstances – there to be no doubt about the admissibility of the concentration, and it does not lead to objections from the market, in the following two scenarios:

  • when two more parties to the concentration have activities in the same product and geographic market, and a combined market share between 25 and 40% at a horizontal level; or
  • when one or more parties involved in the concentration has activities in the product market upstream or downstream from the product market of one of the other parties, and the individual or combined market shares at one of these levels is between 25 and 40%.

As a result, more concentrations in Belgium will be eligible for application of the simplified procedure, thereby benefitting from a shorter decision-making period and simpler filing rules, leading to lower costs. It also implies that in such procedures the Competition College (the BCA’s ultimate decision-making body) will not need to convene because, in a simplified procedure, the examining officer (Auditeur/Auditor) alone can take such decision. This new procedure will therefore also allow the Competition College to concentrate on more important files.


This article was published in the Competition Newsletter of March 2020. Other articles in this newsletter:


Related news

12.05.2020 NL law
Kroniek van het mededingingsrecht

Articles - Wat de gevolgen van de coronacrisis zullen zijn voor de samenleving, de economie en – laat staan – het mededingingsbeleid laat zich op het moment van de totstandkoming van deze kroniek niet voorspellen. Wel stond al vast dat het mededingingsrecht zal worden herijkt op basis van de fundamentele uitdagingen die voortvloeien uit zich ontwikkelende ideeën over het belang van industriepolitiek, klimaatverandering en de positie van tech-ondernemingen en de platforms die zij exploiteren.

Read more

07.05.2020 NL law
Spreading fast: Dutch and Belgian COVID-19 State-aid approved

Short Reads - Many Member States are taking measures to support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The European Commission’s Temporary Framework enables the rapid approval of certain types of State aid. So far, three Dutch State aid schemes and six Belgian schemes were approved, providing the beneficiaries with legal certainty that the aid received is in line with EU State aid law and cannot be challenged at a later stage.

Read more

07.05.2020 NL law
ECJ confirms: no shortcut for ‘by object’ antitrust infringements

Short Reads - The European Court of Justice has found there is no shortcut for determining whether particular conduct can be held to have the object to restrict competition. A competition authority will always need to assess carefully whether the conduct reveals "a sufficient degree of harm to competition” before labelling it a ‘by object’ infringement. This is the case where there is sufficiently solid and reliable experience showing that this type of conduct is commonly regarded as being inherently anticompetitive.

Read more

28.04.2020 EU law
Origin of the primary ingredient - Implementing Regulation 2018/775

Short Reads - Since the beginning of this month, the origin of the primary ingredient of a food must be clearly indicated on the product when it differs from the origin given for the product as a whole. This is the result of the implementation of Article 26 (3) of the European Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.  

Read more

07.05.2020 NL law
COVID-19: fast-forwarding competition law

Short Reads - Competition authorities are temporarily ‘green-lighting’ certain collaboration initiatives to safeguard the supply of essential products in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, authorities warn against using the current exceptional circumstances to engage in anti-competitive practices, such as price-fixing, excessive pricing, refusals to deal or opportunistic takeovers. 

Read more

This website uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential for the technical functioning of our website and you cannot disable these cookies if you want to read our website. We also use functional cookies to ensure the website functions properly and analytical cookies to personalise content and to analyse our traffic. You can either accept or refuse these functional and analytical cookies.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring