Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Francisco Marcos, Instituto de Empresa Business School discusses Regional Merger Review in Spain.
ABSTRACT: The decentralization of competition law enforcement in Spain has led to the creation of agencies and administrative authorities by Autonomous Communities responsible for this task. Today most of the disciplinary procedures for the enforcement of the Spanish Defense Competition Act are heard before the regional authorities, which also play other advisory and advocacy roles.
In the area of merger review, however, to date, the law only provides for a consultative intervention of regional authorities in those operations that have a significant impact in the regional context. The constitutionality challenge against the Spanish Competition Act promoted by the government of the Canary Islands in 2008 for limiting regional powers, the reform of the Autonomy Statute for Catalonia in 2006 and the Constitutional Court Judgment 31/2010, allow considering that in the future there could be a regional review of mergers and acquisitions. In view of the unique experience of decentralization of competition in Spain, this paper examines this issue and the implications it could have a potential regional power in merger control.