On 15 January 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released information on the fees payable in relation to mergers involving businesses which are active in the UK. Any merger that qualifies as a ‘relevant merger situation’ ( i.e. where the UK turnover of the acquired business is in excess of £70 million or where the combined businesses will have 25% or more share of the market) will be subject to a fee if the CMA picks up on the merger activity and considers the need to refer the merger for a Phase 2 (in-depth) investigation. The fee will apply regardless of the outcome of the CMA decision, and irrespective of whether a phase 2 reference is actually made.
The fee amounts are linked to the UK turnover of the business(es) acquired under the merger and range from £40,000 to £160,000; the fee amount will need to be settled within 30 days of the phase 2 reference decision to refer or not to refer being made.
The fee bands remain unchanged from previous levels, but are a potential expense businesses should keep in mind when considering merger situations involving companies operating within the UK. Our specialist competition team can help you decide whether to notify your UK merger and advise on all aspects of the merger control process.