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EU to cut merger red tape for firms
Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy Pic: Stine Hellman, European Union, 2023

20 Apr 2023 / eu Print

EU to cut merger red tape for firms

The European Commission has announced a package of measures that it says will cut red tape for businesses notifying the EU’s competition body about mergers or acquisitions.

The EU body says that the new rules, which take effect on 1 September, will bring “significant benefits” for businesses and advisers in terms of preparatory work and related costs.

The measures aim to simplify and expand the scope of the commission's review process of unproblematic mergers, known as ‘simplified cases'.

They also seek to reduce the amount of information required for notifying deals in all cases, and to make the transmission of documents easier.

‘Simplified’ procedure

The new proposals expand the number of cases that can be dealt with under the ‘simplified’ procedure, while also giving the commission the flexibility to bring additional cases into this category.

They also provide what the EU body describes as “a clearer and more detailed” list of circumstances under which it can carry out a more detailed investigation of a case that technically qualifies as unproblematic.

There will also be changes to the notification forms that merging companies must complete, in an effort to streamline the process and make the forms clearer for businesses.


Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner in charge of competition policy, said that the package widened the scope of the procedure to review unproblematic mergers.

“The new rules also make the notification process significantly easier for the parties – to the benefit not only of companies and advisors, but also of the commission, which will be able to focus its resources on the most complex cases,” she stated.

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