Ecuador’s antitrust authority has adopted a fast-track merger notification procedure in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated the country’s economy.
The Superintendency for the Control of Market Power (SCPM) on 20 April passed a draft resolution that creates expedited reviews for certain deals that require pre-merger notification. According to local practitioners, covid-19 has caused widespread delays in the agency’s ability to review and investigate certain transactions.
The fast-track system is available to controlling companies that do not directly or indirectly conduct business in Ecuador; merging companies with less than a 30% combined market share in all relevant markets; and for deals with a credible failing-firm defence.
Under the normal pre-merger notification timeline, the authority has 50 days to send its findings to the First Instance Resolution Commission (CRPI) – the authority’s decision-making body. The body has 60 days to issue a decision and in the case of complex mergers, it can request an additional 60 days to review a deal.
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