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Introduction of Pre-Merger Clearance Regime: Antitrust Update

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In the hope of reaching an agreement on the new amendments to the Egyptian Competition Law, the Egyptian Parliament’s House Economic Affairs Committee continued its debates over the proposed amendments to the Egyptian Competition Law this week. These amendments aim at changing the current post-merger notification regime to a pre-merger clearance regime (the “Proposed Amendments”).

Following the lengthy discussions that took place during this week’s sessions, which witnessed significant disagreement between representatives of the Egyptian Competition Authority (the “ECA”), the Central Bank of Egypt, the Financial Regulatory Authority and the Egyptian Stock Exchange over key aspects of the Proposed Amendments, the Parliament has adjourned and postponed voting on the same to the next legislative session, which will commence in October.

Points of Contention

The main points of contention are centered around the extent of powers the Proposed Amendments would grant to the ECA to regulate mergers and acquisitions. In this regard, the disagreements are primarily with regards to: (i) the timeframe granted to the ECA to assess mergers and acquisitions; and (ii) the fees to be paid by the relevant companies to the ECA for its assessment.

Unfortunately, no agreement has been reached on the above and the Parliament are due to resume their debates following the summer recess in October.