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New Guidelines on Non - Horizontal Mergers


*GarriguesThe European Commission recently adopted the final version of its guidelines on non-horizontal mergers (Guidelines) 1 which largely retain the ideas contained in the preliminary draft published one year ago (February 2007).

The aim of the Guidelines is to complement those already existing on horizontal mergers, 2 both of which were adopted to accompany the 2004 reform of the European Community (EC) Merger Regulation 139/2004.3

Whilst acknowledging that they are less likely to restrict competition than horizontal mergers (i.e. among directly competing undertakings), the Guidelines note that non- horizontal mergers are still potentially able to hinder effective competition.