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Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Russian Pre-Clearance Procedures

You might remember that the Oracle-Sun deal filed and then pulled its pre-clearance notification in Russia when it ran into difficulties with EU anti-trust authorities.  At the time, I was a little mystified.   Now, Clifford Chance is setting us all straight.  Here's their memo on the Russian merger pre-clearance process and part of their assessment of notification requirements for transactions involving a foreign buyer and seller: 

Russian competition law follows the "effects doctrine" and the notification requirements may also apply in case of foreign-to-foreign mergers.

Until August 2009, merger clearance in Russia was required if a foreign-to-foreign transaction met both of the following criteria: (1) it resulted in the acquisition of shares or assets of Russian companies, or direct or indirect control over Russian companies; and (2) it results or may result in the restriction of competition in Russia.

This structure was, however, reformed as a part of the Second Antimonopoly Package, which turned these two formerly cumulative criteria into alternative requirements. In addition, the second criterion was modified, which is expected to result in broader application of the Russian merger control rules by FAS. It is now sufficient that a transaction "affects" competition in Russia, while, previously, it was required that the transaction "restricts or may restrict" competition.

To date FAS has not issued any official clarification as to how it interprets the revised requirement. Based on its current practice, one may, however, surmise that a foreign-to-foreign transaction falls within the Russian merger control regime where the target entity directly or indirectly controls any Russian entities, owns assets located in Russia or has substantial turnover from operations in Russia
-bjmq

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/2010/02/russian-preclearance-procedures.html

Antitrust, Miscellaneous Regulatory Clearances | Permalink

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