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Second domestic sales threshold for German merger control in force today


Today, 25 March 2009, an amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition entered into force (the day after its publication in Germany’s Official Journal). The amendment introduces a second domestic sales threshold for German merger control.

The new threshold requires that at least two parties to a transaction must each have individual sales in Germany of € 5 million (approx. US$ 6.77 million) or more. In addition, as before, the parties to the transaction must have combined worldwide sales of more than € 500 million and at least one of them must have sales in Germany of more than € 25 million.

The amendment applies to all concentrations, i.e. mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, that have not been completed prior to its entry into force. Thus, mergers for which an agreement has already been signed but have not yet been completed need not be notified if they do not trigger the new threshold. The Bundeskartellamt will terminate all ongoing proceedings in relation to concentrations that have already been notified but do not trigger the new threshold. The Bundeskartellamt will clarify its position on its fees in these proceedings in the coming days. The fees for terminated proceedings are likely to be reduced.

Click for the official text of the amendment in German [PDF].

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