Mergers & Acquisitions
In terms of Article 23(1) of the COMESA Competition Regulations (“the Regulations”), merger means the direct or indirect acquisition or establishment of a controlling interest by one or more persons in the whole or part of the business of the competitor, supplier, customer or other person whether that controlling interest is achieved as a result of:
- the purchase or lease of the shares or assets of a competitor, supplier, customer or other person;
- the amalgamation or combination with a competitor, supplier, customer or other person; or
- any means other than as specified in sub-paragraph (a) or (b).
Functions of Mergers & Acquisitions Division
The COMESA Competition Regulations (the “Regulations”) have established a one-stop shop merger control regime for the review of mergers which are capable of having cross-border effects within the Common Market. The Mergers & Acquisitions Division (the “M&A Division”) is mandated to enforce Part 4 of the Regulations and plays a central role in the promotion of competitive markets in the Common Market through the review of regional mergers.
Whilst most mergers are generally competition neutral or pro-competitive, there are certain types of mergers that can substantially lessen competition by changing the way the remaining market players behave and which can affect consumers through higher prices, reduced product or service quality, less choice and innovation etc.
In the execution of its work, the M&A Division is guided by the Regulations, the COMESA Competition Rules, the COMESA Merger Assessment Guidelines, as well as international best practices.
The M&A Division is mandated to execute the following, among others:
- Verification of merger filings submitted to the Commission
- Monitoring and identifying non-notified regional mergers
- Conducting the substantive assessment to determine if a merger is or is likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition or is contrary to the public interest
- Cooperate with Member States in the assessment of regional mergers
- Monitor compliance with orders issued by the Commission and the Committee responsible for Initial Determinations
The M&A Division also plays a key role in supporting and promoting effective national merger control regimes within the Member States, through advocacy and capacity-building activities.