Before proceeding with notification of a merger operation, interested parties may request a prior assessment by the Competition Authority.
In 2012, the AdC reviewed and updated the Competition Authority Guidelines for the Prior Assessment Procedure for Merger Operations [text in Portuguese] to correspond to the new Legal Framework for Competition in Portugal provided by Law no. 19/2012 of May 8.
This is an entirely optional procedure that, among other things, streamlines the notification process. Informally and confidentially, the companies intending to carry out a merger operation may discuss with the AdC the different stages and main procedural and competition issues inherent to the proposed concentration.
Even though it is not mandatory, the procedure of prior assessment of merger operations benefits interested parties, as it also allows prompt detection of issues that could impede the operation.
Cooperation between the Competition Authority's services and interested parties contributes to a more efficient process and faster decision-making.
In addition to reducing the time required to assess the operation, the pre-notification ensures a more significant certainty about its deadlines, as it provides close monitoring by the AdC, which can avoid the need to ask companies for more information for the case.
In view of its informal nature and to facilitate approaching the Competition Authority, a pre-notification procedure does not require the submission of an initial application. Companies just need to contact the AdC.