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28 September 2017
The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) have issued new guidance on the process for obtaining their approval of a notifiable merger or acquisition in the Channel Islands.
The guidance formalises the practical approach developed by CICRA over the past few years when dealing with merger control applications. In all cases other than those qualifying for the shorter preliminary review in Guernsey (which does not apply in Jersey), the changes made by the guidance include:
CICRA previously expected the transaction parties to meet with them before filing a merger application form only if the proposed transaction was likely to give rise to substantive competition concerns.
The new guidelines require formal pre-notification discussions with CICRA for all transactions, with CICRA encouraging the parties to contact them as soon as there is a good-faith intention to proceed.
CICRA expect the following benefits to arise from these pre-notification discussions:
The new guidelines also include the following changes to the merger application process:
A new concept introduced by the revised guidelines is the so-called 'state of play' meeting between CICRA and the transaction parties. This may be held if CICRA believe there is a realistic chance of the transaction either not being approved during the first detailed review stage or being conditionally approved. The meeting will typically take place at the end of the public consultation period in order to:
The new guidance implements some procedural aspects of the recommendations for the islands' merger control regime overhaul which CICRA published in September 2016.
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