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Merger Clearance

Where one business acquires another business and the resulting “merged” business has a strong market position the competition authorities may exercise their right to investigate the merger.

The outcome of such investigations can range from restrictions on what the business can do post-transaction (eg maximum pricing) or even an order to sell part or all of the acquired business (often under “fire sale” conditions).

Our competition law team is able to advise you at an early stage whether the transaction is likely to give rise to an investigation and suggest an appropriate strategy as a result. This can minimise your exposure to the risk of an investigation and ensure that there are no nasty surprises following your acquisition.

Our team has successfully defended numerous investigations at UK and EU level, achieving a number of precedent setting successes across a broad range of industry sectors. Our lawyers’ experience includes:

  • advising on precedent setting merger clearance cases at an EU level including the first ever Article 4 and Article 9 referrals to the UK and the case which defined joint control in joint ventures
  • the only ever successful parallel merger clearance application (Go-Ahead Group plc and Arriva plc on the clearance of the simultaneous acquisitions of the parties’ operations in Hexham and Ashington)
  • advising Northgate plc on the acquisition of Arriva plc’s vehicle rental business
  • advising Sheffield City Taxis on the acquisition of Mercury Taxis

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