A Low, A Low

Happy New Year everyone.

As we look forward to 2023, what better time to review some of the key features of UK merger control in 2022?

Let’s start with the number of cases. (In coming posts I’ll look at other aspects).

Here’s my calculation of the number of Phase 1 published decisions by year (excluding those cases that were investigated but failed to meet the jurisdiction thresholds and national security-driven cases):

201462
201570
201660
201761
201855
201958
202047
202140
202241

The headline point is clear: the number of published Phase 1 decisions remained near its record low in 2022, despite the UK taking on responsibility for more merger cases after leaving the EU. Some predicted a big increase in the CMA’s caseload as a result.

A number of factors are relevant here, including:

  • Deal numbers – still affected by pandemic-related disruption
  • The type of deals being done
  • How selective the CMA is in the deals it chooses to investigate

What’s your view on the balance between these?

Do feel free to post your comments in the box below.

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