Brussels, 24th April 2007
The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on draft guidelines that clarify the Commission’s policy with regard to "remedies" in merger control. "Remedies" are modifications to a merger proposed by the parties to the transaction with a view to eliminating competition concerns identified by the Commission in its merger control inquiry. The new draft Remedies Notice would adapt the current guidelines (dating from 2001) in the light of an extensive study undertaken by the Commission into the implementation and effectiveness of remedies (see IP/05/1327), recent judgements of the European Courts and the new Merger Regulation (139/2004 –see MEMO/04/9), in force since2004. The new Remedies Notice is due to be adopted definitively by the Commission later in 2007, taking into account the results of the consultations just launched.
The draft revised Remedies Notice will replace the current Notice
adopted in 2001. The proposed review has been undertaken for several reasons.
First, the revision reflects the conclusions from the Commission's “Merger
Remedies Study”, published in October 2005. In this study, the
Commission undertook a comprehensive review of past merger cases where remedies
were accepted and analysed the implementation and effectiveness of these
remedies. Second, the draft revised Notice also incorporates recent
jurisprudence from the European Courts which gave useful guidance on the legal
framework for accepting or rejecting remedies as well as on more specific issues
concerning their design. The experience gained in the Commission’s
practice in recent years in the implementation of remedies is also reflected.
Finally, the draft revised Notice takes into account changes concerning remedies
introduced in the 2004 Merger Regulation which. Some of the proposed amendments,
such as a new information form to be submitted by the parties to describe their
remedies proposals, will also require an amendment of Commission Regulation
802/2004 on implementing the Merger Regulation.