The Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority will automatically approve any merger or acquisition that results in a company or group of companies with a combined market share of less than 25%. Mergers or acquisitions that reduce the competitiveness of the Belgian market, or a significant part of it, will be declined.
There are 5 phases to the filing of the notification of a merger or acquisition:
- First phase – the notification is determined to be acceptable or inadmissible.
- Second phase – the Competition College performs further investigations, if necessary, and submits a revised decision.
- Simplified procedure – parties may apply for a simplified procedure.
- Appeal – parties may appeal the College’s decision before the Court of Appeal.
- Restrictive practices – if specific business practices restrict competition, they may be prohibited and result in fines.