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PCC eases process of reviewing mergers

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By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

In line with the government’s move to ease doing business in the country, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has relaxed merger review process.

In a Commission Resolution issued on May 28, the PCC expedited merger review to 15 working days instead of 30 calendar days under the regular phase 1 merger assessment. The new rules shall take effect on July 2 or 15 days after its publication.

Merging parties may apply for the expedited review within 30 days after signing the definitive agreement on the deal, but prior to any acts of consummation.

“The PCC recognizes that a strong and vibrant economy stimulates firms’ appetite for business consolidation, corporate takeovers, and market expansion. The expedited merger review is a testament of PCC’s commitment to be efficient in the review of transactions deemed less likely to pose competition concerns,” said PCC Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan.

The fast-tracked process are less likely to substantially prevent, lessen, or restrict competition in their relevant markets, the PCC said.

The following types of transactions may qualify for the expedited merger review process: no overlaps, global transaction with PH as assemblers, export manufacturers, global transaction with limited presence in the Philippines, and joint ventures for real estate projects.

“The expedited merger review demonstrates PCC’s commitment in enabling a conducive regulatory environment for doing business while implementing its legal mandate of guarding against transactions that may substantially lessen competition in the market,” Balisacan added.

“Every merger review employs different levels of technical expertise and resources. The expedited review of mergers that are less likely to pose competition issues will lead to more efficient use of Commission resources towards the implementation of a holistic merger control regime,” he said.

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