HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 cc73-4W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the French presidency's proposals for EU-wide mergers and acquisition legislation. [138679]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 16 November 2000]: EC legislation on mergers and acquisitions has existed since 1989 in the form of the EC Merger Regulation (Council Regulation (EEC) No 4064–89, since amended by Council Regulation (EC) 1310–97). Mergers which meet the thresholds in the Regulation fall to the consideration of the European Commission rather than to that of national competition authorities.

The French Presidency has not made any proposals regarding the amendment of the EC Merger Regulation. However, the European Commission has begun a review of the Regulation following a report to the Council of Ministers on the operation of its thresholds. The report can be found on the Commission's website at: www.europa.eu.int/comm/competition/mergers/review and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.