As in every other recent year, during 2013 competition authorities in numerous jurisdictions continued their innovation, and enforcement of existing and new merger control regimes. As companies engaged in cross-border M&A try to anticipate what regulatory hurdles lie ahead for them in 2014, a look back to major developments in 2013 provides several clues as to where they might expect to find some of their most significant challenges year. This article provides a review of major merger control developments and issues in certain countries and regions, focusing in particular on China and Africa. The experiences of merging parties in both of these places demonstrate most acutely the complex calculations that face any company expecting to close their cross-border deal on schedule and largely intact. Notable developments in other jurisdictions are also briefly reviewed, with a look ahead to likely developments in 2014.
Developments in the administration of China’s Antimonopoly Law continued apace in 2013.
Case law -
The conditional clearance by the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) of the acquisition by Glencore International plc (Glencore) of all remaining shares in Xstrata plc (Xstrata) came after a review period lasting almost one year. Having been cleared conditionally in the EU and South Africa and unconditionally in the US and Australia in 2012, Mofcom took its time analysing the implications of certain horizontal overlaps – in particular the supply of copper and copper concentrate – before accepting a mixture of structural and behavioural remedies as a condition to its approval. The parties’ combined global market shares in the supply of both copper and copper concentrate were relatively low: no more than around 10%-15%. However, this still gave the parties, jointly, a leading position on the global markets, where China is heavily dependent on imports from third countries.
Originally published in Competition Law Insight - 18 March 2014.
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