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EU Court Decides EU Merger Control Can Only Catch Joint Control Transactions If the Resulting Entity Is ‘Full-Function’

James Webber and George Milton, Shearman & Sterling Publications, September 2017

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On September 7, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided that, where joint control is acquired over a new or existing undertaking (or parts of an undertaking), that transaction can only fall within the scope of the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR) where the resulting entity will be ‘full-function.’

Under the current approach to ‘full-functionality’ this has significant negative implications for the certainty, timeliness and efficacy of the competition law treatment of joint ventures in the EU.

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