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LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Britain’s antitrust regulator is proposing to reform its treatment process, its Chief Executive Sarah Cardell said on Monday, aimed at addressing competition concerns as well as making merging entities easier to handle. To help find solutions.
The Competition and Markets Authority moved into the top tier of global regulators when Britain left the European Union in 2020, giving it a greater say over mega-mergers such as Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of ‘Game of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard.
It attracted corporate interest globally earlier this year when it halted that deal due to the fury of two US companies, but then reopened the case and then approved it after Microsoft came back with changes. Tore up the rule book he had won.
“As part of the package of proposals we are announcing today, we have included a revised treatment process,” Cardell said in a speech at the CMA’s London headquarters.
The UK reviews mergers and acquisitions in two stages: an initial stage to decide whether a deal could reduce competition, and a longer second stage to examine possible remedies, including a full block or divestment. Is included.
Cardell, who was appointed permanent head of the regulator almost a year ago, highlighted perceived barriers to using opportunities currently available to merging parties to find solutions.
“We have included a revised remedy procedure that seeks to overcome these hurdles by introducing a number of pointers for merging parties to consider without prejudice,” he said.
He said the agency continues to have a strong preference for structural measures and said changes will only be successful if the parties merge in good faith. (Reporting by Paul Sandel and Muvija M, Writing by Sarah Young, Editing by William James)