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Briefing

M&A and antitrust: 'gun-jumping'

Briefing which sets out the key antitrust risks, and recommended best practices, for merging parties during the period between signing and closing, when buyers often bear financial risk but targets must operate entirely independently.
 
The line between managing pre-closing risk and violating antitrust rules can be difficult to draw – and risks are often exacerbated during lengthy pre-closing periods as deals are subject to increasing levels of regulatory scrutiny.
 
Several recent cases have highlighted the need for parties to manage their pre-closing conduct very carefully. The most high profile case was the French authority’s decision to impose a fine of €80m on telecoms company Altice for a series of steps which the authority found to breach the standstill period and amount to ‘gun jumping’. However, other authorities are also taking enforcement action in this area and are imposing heavy fines for early integration.

M&A and antitrust (PDF - 108 KB)