As of 18 March 2020, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has asked businesses, where possible, to delay filing merger notification until further notice.
The request has been made as CCPC staff are now largely working remotely and the CCPC foresees difficulties in collecting and assessing information from parties, customers, competitors and suppliers during its merger review process.
Temporary notification process
As of 18 March 2020, the CCPC requests that merger notification forms and all supporting documents be submitted in electronic format by email before 4:30pm. The CCPC is asking notifying parties to contact them prior to submitting a digital notification and/or if they have difficulty submitting a digital notification.
Hard copy filings of merger notifications still remain possible but will become increasingly difficult due to a reduced presence of staff at the CCPC premises.
The merger notification of €8,000, which must be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer, remains unchanged.
Does the temporary notification process affect timelines?
The CCPC continues to be bound by the statutory time-table provided for in the Competition Act, 2002, as amended. This means that the CCPC has 30 working days in which to conduct its initial, Phase 1, investigation.
However, given the difficulties the CCPC is facing as a result of COVID-19, it may be more likely to issue a formal request for further information. Such a request effectively stops the clock with the 30 working day period starting afresh from the time the CCPC has received a complete response to its request.
For more information or to discuss any COVID-19 related issues impacting your business, please get in touch with Dorit McCann (EU, Competition & Procurement), Barry Cahir (Litigation and Insolvency), Thomas O'Dwyer (Litigation), Sharon Delaney (Litigation), Damian Maloney (Corporate and Commercial), Aidan Marsh (Commercial Property), Gerry Gallen (Commercial Property), Sandra Masterson Power (Employment), Paul Gough (Employment) or your usual Beauchamps contact.