Competition– Top 5 Issues

  1. Loss of "one-stop shop" system - Outside the EU, the UK would no longer be part of the "one-stop shop" procedure for reviewing mergers on an EU-wide basis. For mergers with a UK dimension it may be necessary to obtain clearance for the merger separately from the UK authorities. This is likely to increase the time and costs associated with obtaining mergers clearance and could create uncertainty where a merger is approved in the EU but not in the UK (or vice versa).
  2. Risk that more deals will require notification at national level - If the UK element of turnover is removed from the EU test, it is likely that more deals would be dealt with at national level, meaning that notifications may have to be made in a number of EU Member States. 
  3. Risks related to the UK not being subject to the EU State aid regime - Following Brexit, the UK would not be subject to EU State aid rules, meaning that it would have greater scope to favour UK businesses by way of tax breaks and incentives.
  4. Dual regulation of competition law - After leaving the EU the UK is likely to continue to prohibit anticompetitive agreements and abuse of a dominant position albeit under its own regime. Differing interpretations of similar competition law provisions by the UK and EU Member States could cause practical problems for companies operating in both the UK and the EU. Companies could be subject to two sets of investigations in respect of the same alleged misconduct. This could prove costly and time consuming.
  5. Risk of relaxation of public procurement rules – If the UK is no longer bound by EU rules on public procurement and free movement it could potentially restrict access to the valuable UK public sector market.


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