The Conseil de la concurrence investigates mergers – AGEFI

​Luxembourg is the only EU Member State to have no merger control system. This means that, contrary to other countries in the EU, mergers potentially raising competition concerns in Luxembourg can proceed without the need for prior notification to and clearance by the national competition authority, the Conseil de la concurrence.

However, this somewhat strange absence of merger control in Luxembourg has not prevented the Conseil de la concurrence from recently investigating a merger. Indeed, on 22 June 2016, it published a decision relating to the acquisition in 2012 by the Utopia group, owner of numerous cinemas in Luxembourg, of another cinema, Ciné Belval.

Although it found no competition law concerns, the fact of the investigation is extremely significant as it is the first time that the Conseil de la concurrence has investigated a merger and shows that it could look at other mergers where competition concerns in Luxembourg may be raised.

It therefore sends a clear message to operators with significant market power in Luxembourg that they must be careful when buying competitors and this even before the potential implementation of a merger control regime in the country.

Indeed, the Conseil de la concurrence is increasingly flexing its muscle in enforcing competition law in the country.

Our partner EU & Competition LawPhilippe-Emmanuel Partsch and our AssociateThomas Evans wrote an article in AGEFI about (full article below):Use of the abuse of dominance prohibition to investigate a mergerThe analysis in the Utopia decisionGrowing activity of the Conseil de la concurrence and potential implementation of merger control in Luxembourg

Si vous voulez en savoir plus à ce sujet en français : Le Conseil de la concurrence a commencé à contrôler certaines fusions et acquisitions au Luxembourg.

Full article available below.

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