AAT welcomes the news that the Competition Authority of Botswana is currently seeking to improve the merger notification filing process. In this regard, on 11 February 2015, the Competition Authority engaged representatives of parties filing merger notifications in an effort to address the merger notification, merger assessment and merger determination processes. This discussion was aimed at positively impacting on the time taken to assess mergers by the Competition Authority.
Mr. Innocent Molalapata, the manager of Mergers and Monopolies identified factors which continuously contribute to the delay in the merger assessment and determination process. Mr. Molalapata stated that the following factors lead to a delay in the process;
- the submission of unaudited financial statements,
- failing to provide the required information,
- giving incorrect or misleading information and
- failure to provide the most recent version of all documents constituting the merger agreement.
The representatives of merging parties expressed concern with requests by the Competition Authority for clarification or the provision of further information near the expiry of the 30 day merger review window. In his regard, the representatives stated that these requests cause delays as they often lead to applications for extensions. The representatives suggested that further information requests should be made as soon as the documents are filed with the Competition Authority.
Finally, representatives of merging parties requested a review of the P10 million merger notification threshold (approximately USD 1 million) indicating that the threshold is too low.
The Competition Authority noted the suggestion and indicated that a review of the threshold was currently underway.