On 13 September 2018 the UK Government published a technical notice on how merger control and antitrust rules would be affected if there is no Brexit deal – part of its series of an anticipated total of 84 papers that aim to help business and individuals prepare for such a scenario.
The Government has recognised that any merger control or antitrust decisions made by the European Commission pre-Brexit will continue to have binding legal effect in the UK post-Brexit – this will be true whether there is a deal or not. However, once the UK is no longer a member of the EU, the EU’s “one-stop shop” for merger control and cartel enforcement will no longer apply for future cases. Regardless of the deal reached between the UK and the EU, parallel investigations by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Commission are expected in both the mergers and antitrust sphere.
This briefing considers what this technical notice tells us about the future application of the EU and UK antitrust and merger control rules - deal or no deal.