The Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) has published new merger control thresholds.
Section 16 (1) of Law No. 287 of 1990 provides for the prior notification of all mergers and acquisitions in Italy which fall within certain thresholds.
As of 10th March 2014, a concentration will need to be notified to the ICA when it meets the new, higher, cumulative conditions below:
(i) The aggregate turnover in Italy of all undertakings involved exceeds € 489 million (instead of the previous € 482 million),
(ii) The aggregate domestic turnover of the target undertaking is above € 49 million (instead of the previous € 48 million).
The above follows an earlier reform, effective from 1st January 2013, which made the thresholds cumulative rather than alternative. This was done to reduce the number of merger notifications in Italy and to allow the ICA to focus more on merger cases which are more likely to reduce the competition on the market at issue.
These reforms are welcome as a pragmatic move and follow the approach taken in other EU jurisdictions.