The Competition Authority (CA) was awarded fourth place, among 71 similar organisations, in the index that evaluates merger control performance. This was above the positions of authorities in countries such as Germany, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Spain.
The Global Merger Control Index (GMCI) is drawn up every year by the Centre for European Law and Economics. It evaluates and compares the performance of the authorities responsible for merger control, on the basis of technical ability, independence, transparency, reliability, predictability and the swiftness of decision-making, among other parameters.
Among the 27 member states of the European Union, Portugal was only preceded by Estonia (1st) and the Netherlands (2nd).
The Centre for European Law and Economics considers that the CA’s merger control decisions are among those that they demonstrated were most reliable and unbiased, effective in terms of predictability and swiftness, independent in relation to political factors, and rigorous.
The position awarded indicates that the CA guarantees appropriate levels of confidentiality, provides transparent justification, uses robust and modern analytical methods, requests appropriate information and exhibits flexibility for the discussion of the necessary commitments in the merger operations analysed.
The classification is attributed in accordance with the opinions expressed by merger control lawyers and specialists. In 2010, the CA was classified as 18th equal. In comparison with that year, the opinions of the specialists surveyed in 2011 revealed substantial progress in the parameters relating to accuracy, appropriacy of the requests for information, predictability and swiftness, quality of technical methods, flexibility on the discussion of commitments, independence and reliability.
In the 2011 edition, the CA obtained the maximum score (7 points) for the appropriacy of the information requested from enterprises and respect for the confidentiality of the data provided by the notifying parties. Accuracy, flexibility and transparency were parameters in which the CA obtained a score of 6 or more.Estonia leads the 2011 index, followed by Singapore and the Netherlands. Immediately after Portugal, in fourth position, lie Germany (5th), the US (6th), Croatia (7th), Ireland (8th), Australia (9th) and the United Kingdom (10th).
In February 2011, to draw up the index, the Centre for European Law and Economics sent online surveys to a total of 1900 merger control lawyers and specialists from 80 jurisdictions worldwide and received 345 responses from 71 jurisdictions. In answering each of the questions, the respondents can give a classification on a scale of 1-7.
One of the Competition Authority’s powers is to assess and decide on merger operations between enterprises in Portugal that fulfil the notification conditions set out in the Competition Law.
In the use of its powers of supervision, the CA assesses merger operations in order to determine their effects on the competition structure, in the light of the need to maintain and develop effective competition in the national market, in the interests of the intermediate and final consumer.
Lisbon, 11 April 2011