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COMESA Clarifies Merger Procedure

 |  March 6, 2023

By: Tyla Lee Coertzen (African Antitrust)

The COMESA Competition Commission (“CCC”) has very recently published its “Revised Guidance on Engagement with the COMESA Competition Commission on Merger Filings” (“Revised Guidance Note”) that would replace the “Notice of Interim Measures in Merger Review of the COMESA Competition Commission due to the COVID-19 Pandemic”  (“Interim Measures Note”). According to Article 24(1) of the CCC’s Competition Regulations, this would affect merging parties, who must notify proposed transactions to the CCC within 30 days of a ‘decision to merge’.

These recent changes to the law, as well as other similar decisions, have brought worries and concerns over the adverse effects they could have against companies involved in lengthy deal negotiations, or for the execution of large multinational deals. The procedures, with a 30-day limit for notification after the initial decision to merge, place onerous administrative burdens on potential partners who may meet the requirements of a ‘decision to merge’ even before all the agreements pursuant to the merger have been drafted.