The Finnish Government’s plan (See: Merger control deadline proposed to be extended due to coronavirus pandemic ) to extend the Phase II deadline in merger control by 23 working days from the current 69 working days has been delayed until autumn because the Government failed to push the proposal through Parliament before the summer recess. Because of the delay, the Government now intends for the change to apply also retroactively to merger filings made between 3 July and 31 October.
The temporary extension was proposed because of the emergency caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, the situation with the epidemic in Finland has improved considerably from spring, which calls into question the rationale for the extension of the deadline. Furthermore, retroactive legislation is generally considered problematic from a constitutional point of view. Nonetheless, we expect the legislation to pass after Parliament convenes again in September.