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Competition Commission of India amends filing norms for M&A deals

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New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2015 6:39:52 PM

In a significant move, Competition Commission has eased the filing requirements for entities seeking approval for M&A deals.

In a significant move, Competition Commission has eased the filing requirements for entities seeking approval for M&A deals besides deciding to invite public comments for all transactions under its review.

The fair trade watchdog’s move would help in avoiding undue delays as well as usher in more transparency into its decision-making process.

Revising its Combination Regulations, the Commission has made it easier for entities seeking approval for merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, by providing “flexibility to parties regarding signing of the notice”, among others.

Now, any person duly authorised by the board of directors can sign the notice seeking Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) approval. The number of copies of notice to be filed has also been reduced, an official release said today.

“To bring in greater transparency regarding the review process, the amendments provide that a summary of every combination under review will be published on the CCI website.

“Such publication will provide stakeholders an opportunity to submit their comments to CCI regarding the proposed combination,” the release noted.

In another amendment, the timeline for first phase review has been modified to 30 working days from earlier 30 calendar days. Further, the Commission has decided to give 15 days time for third parties to comment on proposed deals in the first phase review.

CCI said the changes make its regulations more “forward looking, in keeping with some of the best practices in other jurisdictions”.

The definition of the term ‘other document’ has also been amended.

“To bring in more certainty, scope of the term ‘other document’ has now been limited to a communication conveying the intention to make an acquisition to a statutory authority,” the release said.

In line with the requests from stakeholders, the regulator has revised Form I required to be filed for notifying a combination.

“…notes to the forms would be published to provide guidance to the notifying parties regarding the information that is required to be filed in a notice,” the release said.

In March this year, the regulator had sought comments on the proposed changes.

“While giving inputs and suggestions on the amendments, the stakeholders welcomed the same, as the amendments now provide greater clarity and transparency and help in avoiding undue delays,” the release said.

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