7 June 2024
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DMCC Act 2024 Briefing Series – Part 1: UK Merger Control

To The Point
(7 min read)

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act 2024 (DMCC Act) has now received Royal Assent. In this first part of our briefing series on the DMCC Act, we focus on what the reforms mean for future transactions from a UK merger control perspective.

Over a year since its introduction in Parliament, the eagerly anticipated DMCC Act received Royal Assent on 24 May 2024. The DMCC Act establishes a new regulatory regime for large digital platforms, as well as comprehensively reforming existing competition, merger control and consumer law in the UK. You can view our May 2024 briefing here.

This first part of our briefing series focuses on changes to the existing UK merger control regime. While most of the DMCC Act is not yet in force (pending the publication of separate implementing regulations), we anticipate that the new merger rules will become operational by Autumn 2024 – although the recently announced UK general election may cause some delay. In the meantime, companies should familiarise themselves with the new regime and carefully consider the impact on their near-term M&A pipeline.

Businesses contemplating UK acquisitions in the coming months should be aware that:

  • The UK merger control regime remains voluntary and non-suspensory. There is one limited exception: a mandatory deal reporting requirement for the few largest digital platforms, who will be specifically identified by the CMA over the coming months;
  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will have a significantly increased jurisdictional reach over deals between non-competitors, thanks to the introduction of a new threshold aimed at capturing most UK-connected deals of acquirers with significant UK turnover; and
  • The CMA will no longer be able to intervene in deals between very small UK businesses with turnover of £10 million or less, even if the parties are close competitors.
Changes to merger control thresholds - New ways for the CMA to assert jurisdiction over transactions
A more streamlined phase 2 process and stronger prodedural powers
Mandatory deal reporting for the largest digital platforms

Next steps

Click on the link below to open a one-page handout highlighting key facts and figures relating to the DMCC Act's merger reforms.

To the Point 

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