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CCPC seeing ‘increasingly complex’ deals
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06 Jan 2023 / regulation Print

CCPC seeing ‘increasingly complex’ deals

The number of company mergers and acquisitions notified to the competition watchdog fell by 16% last year, according to its 2022 report.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said that it had been informed of 68 deals last year, compared with 81 in 2021.

Of the 70 determinations made by the watchdog, four required commitments from the companies involved in order to secure approval.

The CCPC completed seven full, or Phase 2, investigations during 2022.

Nine professional-services deals scrutinised

One proposed deal – Uniphar's plan to acquire pharmacy-solutions business NaviCorp Limited – was prohibited.

This was the first time a deal had been blocked since 2008, and only the fourth such prohibition under the Competition Act 2002 .

The professional services category – including areas such as legal, accountancy, consultancy, and engineering – recorded the most notifications (nine), followed by the grocery sector (seven).

"Although the total number of notified mergers was lower than 2021, we saw increasingly complex mergers notified, as evidenced by the unprecedented number of mergers which were subject to Phase 2 merger investigations," said commission member Brian McHugh.

Banking concerns

In publishing its decisions on a number of banking transactions, the CCPC raised concerns about the overall competitiveness of the sector in Ireland.

McHugh said that the commission had continued to engage with the Department of Finance and the Central Bank on the issue.

He added that the watchdog was also looking forward to the commencement of the Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 , which gives the CCPC stronger powers.

Gazette Desk
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