COMESA merger control (2019)
Produced in partnership with Nortons Incorporated
COMESA merger control (2019)

The following Competition guidance note Produced in partnership with Nortons Incorporated provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • COMESA merger control (2019)
  • 1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the COMESA merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other ‘hot’ merger control issues with the COMESA Commission?
  • 2. Under COMESA 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 for review of a notifiable transaction by the COMESA Commission?
  • more

A conversation with Anton Roets, director, and Nicola Ilgner, senior associate at regional law firm Nortons Incorporated, on key issues on the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) merger control regime.

The merger control regime of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) came into force on 14 January 2013.  COMESA is comprised of 21 African Member States, being Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland (Eswatini), Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Two new Member States, Somalia and Tunisia, joined in July 2018.

The COMESA Competition Commission (the COMESA Commission) enforces regional competition policy and a supra-national merger control regime, which is based on the COMESA Competition Regulations (the Competition Regulations) and the COMESA Competition Rules (the Competition Rules).

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

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

Following the commencement of the COMESA Commission in January 2013, concern was raised particularly in relation to the setting of the financial thresholds for the filing of mergers at zero, the relatively high filing fees and