The Mergers and Acquisitions Report for 2022 was recently published by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
The report provides details of the notifications received by the CCPC throughout the year and offers a snapshot of merger control in Ireland. A number of key points from the report are outlined below.
The CCPC received 68 notifications for the calendar year 2022. This was down on the 2021 number of 81. The 2022 figure was still greater than the number of notified mergers for 2019 and 2020.
There were 37 notifications submitted under the simplified procedure. This is a welcome sign for the merger control process in Ireland, with over half of all notifications falling under the simplified procedure. The simplified procedure, introduced in 2020, allows for a quicker turnaround time in the CCPC’s assessment of the merger and helps to expedite the process.
The Professional Services field was the most prominent sector with nine notifications received by the CCPC. This was followed by the Grocery – Retail and Wholesale sector which accounted for seven notifications made to the CCPC. This contrasts with the leading sectors in 2021: Financial and Insurance Services and Manufacturing Services.
Significantly, the CCPC prohibited the merger in the case of M/21/079 - Uniphar/NaviCorp. The CCPC determined that the proposed acquisition could not be put into effect on the grounds that it would have resulted in a substantial lessening of competition in each of the markets for: (i) the provision of buying group services in the State and (ii) the provision of common management and branding services in the State. This marked the first time the CCPC (or its predecessor the Competition Authority) had prohibited a merger since 2008.
In 2022, the CCPC reviewed and issued merger determinations in relation to five media mergers.
The coming year will be of considerable importance for the merger control process in Ireland, as significant changes will be introduced when the Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 comes into force. These changes are discussed in further detail here.
A copy of the 2022 report issued by the CCPC can be found here.
Marco Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Head of the EU, Competition and Regulated Markets Team at LK Shields. Marco is the author of “Merger Control” published by Thomson Reuters -- the only book exclusively devoted to merger control in Ireland.
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