Merger control: Jurisdictional comparison
There was a time not so long ago when very few countries in the world had merger control laws. In most jurisdictions, there was no need to notify a merger for prior approval before closing. How different the situation is today. It is estimated that upwards of 100 countries now have merger control laws, and in most of these countries, qualifying mergers, acquisitions and – in some cases – joint ventures must be notified and cleared by the local regulators before they can be implemented. Today, the need to obtain merger control approvals is often the number one factor delaying the closing of deals around the world.
Unfortunately, while more countries have merger control than ever before, there remains relatively little harmonisation, with each jurisdiction having its own rules on what types of transactions must be notified, what thresholds apply, what the procedure is and how long it takes. Even the substantive test for determining whether a notified transaction will be approved is not the same in every jurisdiction. With merger control authorities becoming tougher in their enforcement practices, the challenges facing merging companies have never been more daunting.