Mergers, joint ventures

Most countries have merger control regimes that give their competition authority the ability to block mergers and joint ventures, or require commitments from the parties to the deal. Competition authorities have recently been getting more interventionist, so companies should consider the possible merger control consequences at an early stage in their dealmaking. 

Many countries also have rules governing deals that may raise national security or foreign investment issues. These rules can also result in the prohibition of a deal. 

Who we work with

We help companies active in a broad range of industries, including media, sports, automotive, chemicals, heavy industry and technology.

Our experience

  • Our firm has been involved in some of the most significant merger control matters of recent years, including phase 2 cases in Brussels and London such as Veolia’s €14 billion acquisition of Suez, Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision, and PK Orlen’s merger with Grupa Lotos that concerned markets in Poland, Czechia and Lithuania. 
  • Our team includes a former Director of Mergers at the UK’s CMA.  
  • We have handled multi-jurisdictional deals that required clearance in many different jurisdictions worldwide.  
  • Our former regulators have led merger appeals in the EU courts and the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal. 
  • In the telecoms sector, our team have represented the UK in the seminal CK Telecoms v European Commission in the EU courts, which regarded a prohibited 4-to-3 merger between mobile network operators. We also led the CMA’s investigation into BT’s acquisition of EE. 
  • Members of our team led the UK’s preparations for post-Brexit merger control. 
  • A member of our team led the CMA’s investigation into the Sainsbury’s/Asda merger in the UK. 

How we can help

We help you to achieve merger clearances efficiently in many jurisdictions worldwide including the EU, UK, the US, Germany, Austria, France, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea and many others. We can also help you achieve national security clearances. Sometimes this involves engaging local counsel and we can manage that process for you. 

We also work with companies who feel that would be harmed by a proposed merger – they can engage with the relevant competition authorities to make their views known.

Companies not directly involved in a merger often receive requests for information from competition authorities. We can help you to write your response efficiently and in the most advantageous way. 

Our Team

We are leading competition lawyers who are experienced in all types of merger cases in all the main jurisdictions, and on both the private sector and public sector sides.

Tom Smith Competition Law firm Geradin and Partners


Tom Smith

(+44) 797 964 2347