The Decision to Investigate Mergers in the UK's Voluntary Regime
Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2017, Pages 637–665
17 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2019
Date Written: April 13, 2017
As merging parties can choose whether to notify their transaction in the UK, the competition authority has a well-developed procedure for capturing those that are not notified but may raise concerns. The resulting own-initiative investigations account for a significant proportion of overall UK merger enforcement. This mergers intelligence function is crucial to the voluntary regime working effectively, yet relatively little is known publicly about this preliminary investigative phase. We provide an overview of how the decision to investigate is taken, including the extent of transactions reviewed at this stage, an overview of the decision making process, and an assessment of recent reforms to the process. We go on to analyse the extent to which decisions taken (not) to investigate are appealable.
Keywords: Mergers, Voluntary regime, Competition law
JEL Classification: K21, H11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation