13 Jan 2017

Position Paper – Evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control

Position Paper – Evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control

INTRODUCTION

DIGITALEUROPE as the voice of the digital technology industry in Europe welcomes the opportunity to answer the European Commission’s public consultation on whether certain aspects of the EU merger control rules need to be adapted. DIGITALEUROPE strongly supports the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ principle, which stresses that consultation is at the heart of producing better regulation for better results and DG COMP’s ongoing effort to cut red-tape by simplifying EU merger control rules.

When considering changes to EU merger control rules, particularly concerning additional value-of-transaction notification thresholds, DIGITALEUROPE encourages the European Commission to carefully assess whether there is sufficient and robust evidence to justify the increase in regulatory burden that may result from introducing such additional requirements. The European Commission should seek to continue to create a policy environment where innovative and dynamic industries such as the digital technology sector can thrive with more legal certainty and better predictability. A value-based notification requirement poses complex challenges in many aspects. Importantly, additional regulatory burdens caused by such requirements may make transactions involving European start-ups and SMEs more difficult, less predictable, and more costly. This could have an undesired negative impact on the European economy. We wish to note that many European companies struggle to grow at a pace equivalent to similar sized companies found in other regions of the globe. This is often due to difficulty in obtaining venture capital. As a consequence, the ambition of many European start-ups is to be acquired, so that their investments are rewarded and their innovative ideas are brought to market. We therefore caution the European Commission against creating additional barriers for start-ups to reach these goals.

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