Brussels, 10th July 2007
The European Commission has adopted a set of guidelines that explains the Commission’s current practice with regard to jurisdictional issues in merger control. The new Notice consolidates the existing texts and adapts them in the light of both recent judgements of the European courts and the new Merger Regulation adopted in 2004 (see IP/04/70 and MEMO/04/9). The new notice will provide up-to date guidance on the Commission's competence to review a transaction under the EU Merger Regulation.
The consolidated Commission Jurisdictional Notice will replace the current four jurisdictional Notices, all adopted by the Commission in 1998 under the previous Merger Regulation: Council Regulation No. 4064/89. These are (i) the Notice on the concept of concentration, (ii) the Notice on the concept of full-function joint ventures, (iii) the Notice on the concept of undertakings concerned and (iv) the Notice on calculation of turnover (see IP/98/203). The consolidated Notice therefore covers all issues of jurisdiction relevant for establishing the Commission’s competence under the new Merger Regulation. The only jurisdictional issue not in the Notice is case referrals: these are dealt with by the Commission Notice on Case Referrals (Official Journal C 56, 05.03.2005, p. 2).
The consolidation has been undertaken for several reasons: Firstly, the consolidation in one document will make the Notice more user-friendly and allow parties to establish more easily whether the Commission is competent to review an envisaged transaction. Secondly, the new Notice takes into account the changes introduced by the new Merger Regulation in relation to jurisdictional issues. Third, the Notice incorporates recent case-law, in particular the position taken on jurisdictional issues in several judgements of the European Court of First Instance. Fourth, the Notice explains and up-dates the Commission’s established practice in relation to a number of jurisdictional issues.
A draft of the Notice was published for consultation, where the Commission invited all interested parties to submit their observations (see IP/06/1273). The adopted Notice takes account of these comments, which can be found on the Commission's web-site at: