In the last edition of Antitrust in focus we discussed various antitrust developments in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In particular, we noted that the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) had suspended consideration of all active merger control and behavioural antitrust cases.

The AMC has now issued further guidelines on the enforcement of Ukrainian merger control practices during the current period of martial law.

Most significantly, the AMC has confirmed that merging parties remain obliged to obtain merger control approval from the AMC where the relevant notification thresholds are met. However, it sets out some changes to the notification process and timing:

  1. Applications can be made in simplified form. Parties may, for example, choose not to provide information on relevant markets. Any information not provided at the time of filing will need to be submitted to the AMC within three months after martial law is lifted. Information about the parties' connections to Russian companies or individuals must, however, be provided when the application is filed.

  2. Applications must be submitted at least 15 calendar days before closing. The parties can submit the application and supporting documents by email, if the submission of hard copies is not possible. The AMC's review of the filing will at that point be suspended, and will resume within three months of the termination of martial law once the AMC has received all the required information about the transaction.

  3. Transactions that have been notified but closed before receiving AMC approval will be subject to fines. But these will be at a significantly lower level than under the standard Ukrainian merger control rules – around EUR1,600 for deals filed in line with the process/timings above and that do not give rise to grounds for prohibition. However, if one of the parties to the transaction is ultimately controlled by Russia or Russian citizens supporting the military aggression against Ukraine, or if the AMC reasonably suspects a divestment of assets or shares aimed at avoiding international sanctions imposed for the military aggression against Ukraine, the AMC will impose statutory maximum fines.

We will keep you updated of any other major developments in this area.

Originally published 4 May, 2022

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