In a statement, the nation’s antitrust regulator said the expedited merger review will take 15 working days instead of 30 calendar days “under the regular phase 1 merger assessment.”
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Competition watchdog shortens review for certain transactions
( - June 18, 2019 - 9:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Competition Commission said it will speed up the review of merger and acquisition transactions that are less likely to restrict competition in their relevant markets in a bid to help improve ease of doing business in the country.

In a statement, the nation’s antitrust regulator said the expedited merger review will take 15 working days instead of 30 calendar days “under the regular phase 1 merger assessment.”

The new rules shall take effect on July 2.

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 said.

“The PCC recognizes that a strong and vibrant economy stimulates firms’ appetite for business consolidation, corporate takeovers, and market expansion,” PCC Chair Arsenio Balisacan said.

“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,” Balisacan added.

The following types of transactions may qualify for the expedited merger review process:

  • No overlaps:  There are no actual or potential horizontal or vertical (including complementary) business relationship in the Philippines between the acquiring entity, including its Notifying Group, and the acquired entity and the entities it controls.
  • Global transaction with Philippines as assemblers, export manufacturers: The merger is a global transaction where the acquiring and acquired entities identified in the definitive agreement are foreign entities, and their subsidiaries in the Philippines act merely as manufacturers or assemblers of products with at least 95% of such products exported to the foreign parents, subsidiaries, affiliates or third parties located outside the Philippines: Provided, That the remaining 5% product sales in a market in the Philippines is minimal in relation to the entirety of such Philippine product market.
  • Global transaction with limited presence in the Philippines: The candidate relevant geographic market of the merger is global and the acquiring and acquired entities have negligible or limited presence in the Philippines.
  • Joint ventures for real estate projects: Joint ventures, whether incorporated or not, formed purely for the construction and development of a residential and/or commercial real estate development project.

“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 said.  

“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 added.

To date, the PCC has received 184 notifications, approved 174 transactions, and blocked one transaction. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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