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UK merger control: CMA sets out its approach to assessing mergers in an increasingly dynamic and digital world

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Friend Mark
Mark Friend



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Long Dominic
Dominic Long



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Mansfield Philip
Philip Mansfield

Partner Global Co-Head Antitrust


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Bourne Emily
Emily Bourne

Senior PSL


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19 November 2020

Hot on the heels of the publication of draft merger guidelines on procedure, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released proposed revised draft guidelines on its substantive competition assessment of mergers.

Given significant market changes since the original guidelines were published ten years ago and the wealth of CMA experience and advice subsequently accumulated, it is not surprising that the revised draft looks markedly different.

Most importantly, the CMA’s guidelines now set out its approach to mergers in digital markets. However, there are other notable updates and clarifications, reflecting the CMA’s current best practice, including a revised test for firms raising an exiting firm defence to their merger and its approach to ‘closeness of competition’.

This publication looks at the key new pointers.

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