UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FINALLY GIVES THE GREEN LIGHT TO ANTITRUST REFORMS IN UKRAINE
On 26 January, 2016 the Ukrainian Parliament approved a set of long-awaited amendments, amongst other things, aimed at increasing the merger notification thresholds. The amendments will become effective two months after they are signed by the President and published, and it is highly anticipated that this will happen by early April.
The main changes include the following:
1. The transaction will trigger reporting and clearance obligations in Ukraine only if:
- the combined worldwide turnover (or value of assets) of all of the participants in the transaction exceeds EUR 30 mln whilst the turnover (or value of assets) in Ukraine of any two participants in the transaction exceeds EUR 4 mln each; or
- the turnover (or value of assets) of the target in the transaction (including the seller) exceeds EUR 8 mln in Ukraine whilst the worldwide turnover of one other participant in the transaction exceeds EUR 150 mln;
2. There is no market share-based notifiability test;
3. A fast-track review procedure for merger or concerted practice applications is to be introduced (up to 25 days in total) if:
- only one participant in the concentration is active in Ukraine;
- the combined market share of the participants in the concentration does not exceed 15% in relation to the same product market; or
- the market shares or combined market shares of the participants in the concentration on the related markets (upstream or downstream) do not exceed 20%;
4. The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine will be entitled to initiate an in depth review (a so-called "Phase 2" review) of a merger or concerted practice only if it finds reasons to ban such merger or concerted practice.
The increase of the thresholds is a positive development and many transactions involving small and medium sized businesses having no significant impact on the Ukrainian market will not have to be cleared in Ukraine.
However, the Ukrainian turnover thresholds remain low from a global perspective and could still mean that transactions between multinational companies with relatively low turnover in Ukraine will have to be cleared.