A concentration that is subject to German merger control must be notified to the FCO and not be closed prior to clearance.

If the FCO does not have any competition concerns it will clear the deal within a review period of one month (Phase 1).

If the FCO raises competition concerns, it may initiate an in-depth investigation within that one-month period (Phase 2). In Phase 2, the FCO has an additional four months to review the proposed concentration (i.e., a total of up to five months from the date of the initial filing). This period may be extended, e.g., (i) if the parties offer commitments to remedy the FCO’s competition concerns for the first time in Phase 2, (ii) if the FCO does not receive requested information within set timeframes, or (iii) if the parties agree to an extension of the review period.

After the Phase 2 review, the FCO may clear the deal, either unconditionally or subject to conditions, or prohibit the transaction.

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