The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC or “the Commission”) recently launched its online merger notification portal (“the Portal”) to automate the submission of merger notifications to the Commission.
The Portal eliminates the need for physical submission of documents relating to merger transactions (which is now widely defined to include many re-structuring and transfer of ownership transactions) at the offices of the Commission. Other notable features of the portal include a pre-notification consultation window (which allows parties to consult with, and obtain clarifications from, the FCCPC before filing a formal merger notification) and a fee calculator for parties to apprise themselves of applicable fees.
The introduction of the Portal is a positive initiative which will improve the merger notification process and ease of engagement with the FCCPC on merger related issues. This is particularly important given the FCCPC's repeated appeals for parties to notify the Commission of most merger transactions and to obtain its negative clearance when in doubt about whether such transactions should be notified to the FCCPC.
However, it is hoped that, with migration of the process online, the Commission has put in place adequate measures to ensure protection of data submitted by companies via the Portal.
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