Brexit and its implications for UK merger control

January 3, 2017

Ben Forbes and Mat Hughes, co-authors of the book UK Merger Control: Law and Practice, published a three-part series in Competition Bulletin focusing on the voluntary nature of UK merger control, the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) workload post-Brexit, and steps to manage the likely increase in that workload.

At a glance

  • Post-Brexit, the CMA will have sole responsibility to assess mergers that affect UK markets.
  • This change raises the question of whether the UK system should be made mandatory, as it is in most countries.
  • But mandatory regimes may fail to capture all anti-competitive mergers and delay mergers that are not problematic.
  • Brexit also means that the UK authorities will have sole responsibility for enforcing all competition law in the UK.
  • Removing the "share of supply" test and integrating the CMA's Phase 1 and Phase 2 review teams are often-discussed but poor options for reducing workload.
  • CMA’s proposed changes to the de minimis thresholds are sensible, but it's unclear whether this will substantially reduce workload.

Read parts one, two, and three.

Meet the Authors

Ben Forbes headshot

Ben Forbes

Director, London