A reform of German competition and merger control law will take effect in the coming weeks. Key aspects of the reform concern:
- A new test for the substantive appraisal of mergers. Under the new test the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) can intervene where a merger would “significantly impede effective competition”;
- New enforcement powers that will allow the FCO to order structural and other remedies and, in order to close a loophole that allowed companies to escape from fines, impose fines on certain legal successors; and
- The market share based threshold for the statutory presumption of a dominant market position which will be increased from 33.3 to 40%.