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Academic Articles Awards > Mergers

The decision to investigate mergers in the UK’s voluntary regime

Simon Chisholm and Tom Heideman, Journal of Competition Law & Economics, 2017

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As merging parties can choose whether to notify their transaction in the United Kingdom, the competition authority has a well-developed procedure for capturing those that are not notified but may raise concerns. The resulting own-initiative investigations account for a significant proportion of overall UK merger enforcement. This mergers intelligence function is crucial to the voluntary regime working effectively, yet relatively little is known publicly about this preliminary investigative phase. We provide an overview of how the decision to investigate is taken, including the extent of transactions reviewed at this stage, an overview of the decision-making process, and an assessment of recent reforms to the process. We go on to analyze the extent to which decisions taken (not) to investigate are appealable.

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