Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Regulating cross-border mergers is harder than ever. A study scheduled for release today finds that 67 of 130 countries surveyed have merger control laws. That is up from 61 countries in 1999, according to the review conducted by New York-based law firm White & Case. Of these 67 countries, 51 have premerger notifications similar to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act notice. Twenty-five countries have significantly revised their premerger notification systems within the past year. “Things are getting more complex,” said Mark Gidley, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of White & Case. “More countries are requiring premerger notifications, and there is almost no convergence on the type of information that they want. For each country you need the schedule and the format that they want the information in.” Adding to the confusion is the lack of uniformity on such basic points as what action even starts the regulatory clock on the filing requirement. Some countries use the signing of a merger letter of intent, others the execution of a merger agreement and a few the closing of a deal. “Although few deals are actually canceled as a result of the burden of multiple reviews, they are often delayed for months, and parties can be subject to significant penalties for noncompliance,” White & Case partner Robert Paul said. “As the time and cost of these reviews mount, the economic efficiencies that make a deal worthwhile can be diluted.” Africa is expected to be the next region in which countries adopt merger regimes. Angola, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mauritius are considering new laws. The study credits creation of regional trading blocs for the burst of interest in merger control rules. Adopting merger control systems since 1999 were Argentina, Indonesia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Slovenia and Thailand. Albert Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute, questioned whether countries just enacting competition laws should worry about mergers, noting that cartels and price fixing harm consumers much more. “A lot of people feel they are using these laws as a revenue source,” Foer said. “It has less to do with antitrust than finding a way to tax corporations for their activities.” The most common merger control is a mandatory premerger filing. That is required by 45 countries. Another five countries impose mandatory pre- and post-merger filings, and Brazil permits companies to file either a pre- or post-merger notice. Eleven countries have a voluntary filing process, and two require merging companies to register with the government. Gidley predicted the worldwide divergence in merger regulations would widen for at least another decade, with reconciliation of such differences at least 20 or 30 years off. Concerns about the gulf in premerger notification systems has been one of the driving forces behind efforts to create a global forum on competition policy. The effort, spearheaded by the International Bar Association, is bringing together leading regulators and experts to create a venue for coordinating policy. It is seen as an alternative to a European plan to stage World Trade Organization talks on competition. Involving the WTO has been a nonstarter for the U.S., which has said it does not want to create a global antitrust regulator. Foer said efforts to coordinate policy will eventually pay off. “It seem inevitable that there should be some movement toward a uniform approach, at least with respect to uniform definitions and . . . so one form could be used for multiple agencies,” Foer said. Gidley said companies have the U.S. to blame for making merger regulatory compliance more difficult. “What you are seeing is a very successful U.S. export,” he said. “The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act really started this in 1976, then the Europeans followed. Now everyone is following.” Copyright (c)2001 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.