Austria merger control (2019)
Produced in partnership with bpv Hügel, Attorneys-at-law
Austria merger control (2019)

The following Competition guidance note Produced in partnership with bpv Hügel, Attorneys-at-law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Austria merger control (2019)
  • 1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the Austrian merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other ‘hot’ merger control issues in Austria?
  • 2. Under Austrian merger control law, is the control test the same as the EU concept of ‘decisive influence’? If not, how does it differ and what is the position in relation to minority shareholdings?
  • 3. Are joint ventures caught by the national merger control provisions (including non-structural, cooperative joint ventures)?
  • 4. What are the merger control thresholds and would a purely foreign-to-foreign transaction be caught (commenting on any ‘effects’ doctrine/policy if relevant)?
  • 5. Are there any specific issues parties should be aware of when compiling and calculating the relevant turnover for applying the jurisdictional thresholds?
  • 6. Where the jurisdictional thresholds are met, is notification mandatory and must closing be suspended pending clearance?
  • 7. Is there any discretion to review transactions that fall below the notification thresholds?
  • 8. Is it possible to close the deal globally prior to local clearance?
  • 9. Is there a deadline for filing a notifiable transaction and what is the timetable thereafter for review by the BWB?
  • more

A conversation with Florian Neumayr, co-managing partner and co-chair of the competition and antitrust practice group at Austrian law firm bpv Hügel on key issues on merger control in Austria

NOTE–to see whether notification thresholds in Austria and throughout the world are met, see Where to Notify.

1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the Austrian merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other ‘hot’ merger control issues in Austria?

Triggered by the EU Damages Directive, an amendment to the Austrian Cartel Act (Kartellgesetz) and the Austrian Competition Act (Wettbewerbsgesetz) was adopted in March 2017. While it is focused on the implementation of the said directive, there are also changes to the Austrian merger control regime, in particular one of which appears quite significant.

The amendment, which entered into force on 1 May 2017, introduced an entirely new notification threshold. This means that transactions also have to be ascertained in the light of this new threshold. The new threshold does not only build on turnover but also on transaction value and the target being active in Austria.

According to the relevant Section 9 para 4 of the Cartel Act, concentrations also have to be notified where (cumulatively):

  1. the combined worldwide turnover of the undertakings concerned exceeds €300m

  2. the combined Austrian turnover exceeds €15m

  3. the