The Phase II deadline in Finnish merger control will be temporarily extended by 23 working days from the current 69 working days. The amendment – which was ratified today – will enter into force retroactively. It will apply to all concentrations notified to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority between 3 July and 31 October 2020 that move to Phase II.
In practice, the amendment is expected to concern only a handful of mergers. At the moment, there are only two cases pending at the FCCA that could be affected by the amendment. We expect that towards the end of October, companies will consider waiting until the beginning of November before notifying their transactions in order to avoid the applicability of the amendment to their transaction.
The amendment was introduced in spring (Merger control deadline proposed to be extended due to coronavirus pandemic and UPDATE: Proposed extension to merger control deadline delayed) because the FCCA expected to face practical difficulties to meet its merger control deadlines during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the amendment was delayed in Parliament. While the epidemic situation in Finland improved considerably during summer, it has again taken a turn for the worse. Therefore, while the temporary extension expires already in two weeks at the end of October, it is quite possible that a similar extension could be introduced again at a later date.