19 November 2015

CNMC modifies notification process for mergers in regulated sectors

The Spanish Competition Authority, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), has published an updated version of its communication on the abbreviated merger’s notification form used for simplified procedures.

On 4 July 2013, the Spanish parliament enacted the Act 3/2013 to create the CNMC, a super-regulator combining the functions of the now extinct National Competition Commission (CNC) and the regulators responsible for telecommunications, energy, postal services, audio-visual media, airport services and rail transport. 

Prior to this integration under one single watchdog, merger transactions which required a report by the relevant sector regulator were subject to a full form submission, even if the characteristics of the proposed transaction would qualify for a short notification form under normal circumstances. This procedure was justified due to the necessity of two reports, one from the regulator and a second from the extinct CNC, which increased the complexity of clearance proceedings and delayed the maximum period of one month for obtaining clearance.

The CNMC, based on empirical experience from the last few years, has noticed that the existence of cross-reports between its different departments have proved that the information requirements are smaller. Therefore, since the publication of this communication, transactions in regulated sectors, which in unregulated sectors would qualify for a short notification form, are entitled to be filed using the short notification form.

Nonetheless, the CNMC reserves the right to request a full notification form in certain situations such as when there are restrictions that require a deep analysis in order to determine whether they may have an auxiliary impact or not, or when Article 55 of the Spanish Competition Act 15/2007 requires a previous report issued by a regulator which is not under the umbrella of the CNMC.

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