The substantive assessment of EU mergers
The substantive assessment of EU mergers

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The substantive assessment of EU mergers
  • The SIEC test
  • Substantive assessment under the EU Merger Regulation
  • Relevant market
  • Assessing horizontal mergers
  • Market shares and concentration
  • Horizontal mergers—unilateral effects
  • Horizontal mergers—co-ordinated effects
  • Assessing non-horizontal mergers
  • Non-Horizontal Merger Guidelines
  • More...

This Practice Note sets out how the Commission will substantively assess mergers under the EU Merger Regulation.

Where a transaction falls within the scope of the EU Merger Regulation, the Commission must assess whether a concentration is compatible with the single market.

The EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) provides that a concentration which would ‘significantly impede effective competition, in the internal market or in a substantial part of it, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position’ shall be declared incompatible with the single market.

A concentration which would not significantly impede effective competition in the internal market or in a substantial part of it must be cleared (ie declared compatible with the single market).

The SIEC test

The afore-mentioned test which is being applied when assessing mergers under the EUMR is frequently referred to as the ‘SIEC’ test. It was introduced into EU competition law to alleviate a gap identified by the European Courts when reviewing the Commission’s attempts to remedy non-coordinated effects in oligopolistic markets that at the same time did not give rise to either single-firm or collective dominance (to which the Commission’s assessment was originally limited). As set out in the recitals to the EUMR, ‘[t]he notion of ‘significant impediment to effective competition’ in Article 2(2) and (3) should be interpreted as extending, beyond the concept of

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