Merger filings still dither, but YTD numbers now tentatively promise to exceed FY2015
Making sense of the COMESA Competition Commission’s merger notification site is no easy undertaking. The perplexing nature of its case-numbering system mirrors perhaps only the level of confusion surrounding the CCC’s original merger threshold and notification-fee guidelines (e.g., see here on that topic).
As we pointed out here, the merger statistics (as they had been released as of January 2016) for 2015 were disappointingly low. In today’s post, please note that we are upgrading those numbers, however, to reflect additional material now made available on the official CCC web resource, reflecting 3 additional filings, bringing the year-end total for FY2015 to 18. Three of those were “Phase 2” cases. In addition, according to the CCC, there were 3 supplemental cases in which “Comfort Letters” were issued to the parties.
For year-to-date 2016 statistics, the numbers look analogous, albeit somewhat higher than the 2015 slump — that is to say, still diminished from the 2013-2014 height of COMESA ‘mergermania’, during which (mostly international) counsel took the confusion surrounding the CCC notification thresholds to heart and erred on the side of caution (and more fees), advising clients to notify rather than not to (65 in the 2 years), or to seek Comfort Letters, which also were issued in record numbers (19 total for the 2-year period)… With that said, the agency is now up to 16 merger cases, with 2 Second-Phase matters on deck.