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Businesses Put on Notice - Expect Tougher Merger Enforcement in the UK, Germany and Australia

Antitrust and Competition Law Alert® | April 30, 2021

Businesses have been put on notice to expect tougher enforcement on merger control in a joint statement released by the UK, Germany and Australia competition authorities (the “3 NCAs”) on 20 April 2021 (the “Joint Statement”). The Joint Statement represents a paradigm shift in the way mergers are viewed, with traditional “business-friendly” messaging dropped in favour of an open scepticism as to the benefits of mergers. Furthermore the 3 NCAs have drawn a clear stance that they will not relax their review standards because of the pandemic, despite acknowledging that the pandemic will see a rise in “failing firm” arguments as many businesses struggle to cope.

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