Thursday, January 08, 2009

Record Number of Jurisdictions Regulate Mergers, New Aspen Publication Finds

This posting was written by John W. Arden.

A record 115 jurisdictions worldwide currently regulate mergers and acquisitions, according to Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements, a new publication from Aspen Publishers, written and edited by attorneys at White & Case LLP.

Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements reflects the 2009 survey of worldwide antitrust merger notification requirements by White & Case, a global law firm that has conducted such a survey since 1996.

The 115 jurisdictions include 110 separate countries with merger control laws, as well as regional merger control regimes, such as those in the European Commission (EC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

This number constitutes a substantial increase over the 68 jurisdictions identified in the 2004 White & Case survey. Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, and Paraguay are expected to adopt new competition regulations in the near future, according to the law firm.

“Explosion” of Merger Regulation

“We have witnessed an explosion in merger regulation across the globe over the past 15 years,” said J. Mark Gidley, head of White & Case’s global antitrust practice and co-editor of the new publication.

“This mega-trend has been fueled by globalization, the rise of the so-called BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China], outreach efforts by US and EU enforcement officials, and a desire by more and more governments to adopt antitrust laws as a means of regulating commerce,” Gidley continued.

The growth and modernization of merger control regimes has placed greater pressure on global corporations and their antitrust advisors, according to George L. Paul, a White & Case antitrust partner and co-editor of the publication. “China and India are two notable additions to the roster of active jurisdictions that will have a major impact on many international transactions,” he observed.

Legal Roadmap

Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements provides a legal roadmap for parties contemplating a multi-national transaction by highlighting the disparate ways that competition authorities treat mergers, including differences in notification timing; filing fees; turnover, size, and post-merger market share thresholds; potential penalties; and volume and type of required filing information.

The resource allows professionals to determine whether parties must notify competition authorities, when to seek regulatory approval, which countries require regulatory approval, how long the approval process takes, what substantive issues will be examined by the agencies, and how much notification and review may cost.

Organized by jurisdiction, Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements provides this information in one loose-leaf volume. Further information about the publication is available here on the Aspen Publishers website.

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