Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
Merger Control
Can the parties appeal the authority’s decision? If so, which decisions of the authority can be appealed (eg, all decisions or just the final decision) and what sort of appeal will the reviewing court or tribunal conduct (eg, will it be limited to errors of law or will it conduct a full review of all facts and evidence)?

Answer ... Under Section 120 of the Enterprise Act 2002, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decisions in relation to merger control can be appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). This right is not limited to final decisions.

The CAT will hear appeals of CMA decisions in the first instance, and will consider findings both of fact and of law made by the CMA. In doing so, the CAT is specifically obliged to apply judicial review principles when reaching its decisions (see Section 120(4) of the Enterprise Act 2002). The precise nature of this obligation was considered in detail by the Court of Appeal in British Sky Broadcasting Group plc v Competition Commission [2010] EWCA Civ 2.

The parties may appeal decisions of the CAT to the Court of Appeal and ultimately the Supreme Court, but such appeals are limited to findings of law (see Section 120(6) of the Enterprise Act 2002).

For more information about this answer please contact: Neil Baylis from Mishcon de Reya
Can third parties appeal the authority’s decision, and if so, in what circumstances?

Answer ... Yes. Under Section 120(1) of the Enterprise Act 2002, “Any person aggrieved by a decision of the CMA” can apply to the CAT for a review of that decision.

For more information about this answer please contact: Neil Baylis from Mishcon de Reya
Merger Control