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Commission proposes merger control reform:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The European Commission has adopted the most extensive reforms to EU merger control since the EU Merger Regulation in 1990. The proposed new package consists of: a proposal for a revision of the Merger Regulation; draft guidelines on the appraisal of "horizontal mergers (mergers between competing firms); and a series of non-legislative measures intended to improve the decision-making process. Texts on all three parts will be available shortly. The proposed regulation would guarantee that mergers are examined within tight deadlines and that reasoned decisions are issued in every case to ensure transparency and legal certainty. In addition, a Chief Competition Economist would be appointed to provide an economic viewpoint to decision-makers, as well as ongoing guidance to the Commission's investigative staff. The proposal is addressed to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament will also be consulted. The Council is likely to discuss the text during 2003. The aim is for it to come into force on May 1 2004.

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