The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Italian Competition Authority or “ICA”) recently launched a consultation seeking the views of stakeholders on a possible revision of the Italian merger filing thresholds. In March 2012, the ICA sought views on the impact of the Monti government reform on the Italian merger control regime which led to the modification of the reportability requirements in Italy by introducing an effective mandatory local nexus requirement simply by making the turnover thresholds cumulative rather than alternatives (please see Shearman & Sterling's client alert of March 29, 2012).
Upon closer consideration of its impact, the ICA’s Comunicazione of February 10, 2014 launching the public consultation proposed to lower the target turnover threshold so as to ensure that a non-insignificant number of potentially problematic transactions do not escape review. Shearman & Sterling welcomed the Monti reform that had attempted to correct a longstanding anomaly of the authority being able to assert jurisdiction over transactions that did not have an appreciable impact in Italy thereby reducing red-tape and unnecessary administrative burden. We have also responded to the current consultation. We believe that the current proposals will not increase transaction costs and burden on business. The merger notification thresholds remain sufficiently high to continue to screen out transactions that are unlikely to result in appreciable competitive effects within Italy. Shearman & Sterling’s response can be found here. The ICA’s proposals and documentation can be found here.