Law 19/2012, of 8 May (the Competition Act) is the main regulation applicable to Portuguese merger control. It is enforced by the Portuguese Competition Authority (Authority), which was created in 2003 by Decree Law 10/2003, of 18 January.
According to the Competition Act, a concentration is deemed to exist when a change of control in the whole or parts of one or more undertakings occurs on a lasting basis as a result of:
a the merger of two or more previously independent undertakings or parts of undertakings;
b the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of control of all or parts of the share capital or parts of the assets of one or various undertakings, by one or more persons or undertakings already controlling at least one undertaking; or
c the creation of a joint venture performing on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous economic entity (a full-function joint venture).
Control is defined as any act, irrespective of the form it takes, implying the possibility of exercising a decisive influence over the activity of an undertaking on a lasting basis, whether solely or jointly. It results, inter alia, from the acquisition of all or part of the share capital, the acquisition of ownership rights or rights to use all or part of an undertaking's assets, or the acquisition of rights or the signing of contracts that confer a decisive influence on the composition, voting or decisions of the undertaking's corporate bodies.
Concentrations must be notified to the Authority if they meet one of the three alternative jurisdictional thresholds set out in the Competition Act:
a the parties' aggregate Portuguese turnover exceeds €100 million and the individual Portuguese turnover of each of at least two parties exceeds €5 million;
b there is the acquisition, creation or reinforcement of a national market share exceeding 50 per cent; or
c there is the acquisition, creation or reinforcement of a national market share exceeding 30 per cent but lower than 50 per cent and the Portuguese individual turnover of at least two parties exceeds €5 million.
In 2014, the new statutes of the Authority were adopted (Decree Law 125/2014, of 18 August). They maintain one important merger control rule already present in the previous statutes: the possibility of appealing a prohibition decision to the Minister of Economy (as described below). Other important merger control (procedural) rules have been adopted by the Authority in the past few years in several regulations and guidelines, and these are discussed throughout the chapter.
On a subsidiary basis, the Administrative Procedure Code (Decree Law 4/2015, of 7 January) is applicable to the merger control procedures conducted by the Authority, rules of the Administrative Courts Procedure Code (Law 15/2002, of 22 February, as amended) apply to the judicial review of the Authority's decisions in administrative proceedings concerning merger control, and the misdemeanours regime (under Decree Law 433/82, 27 October, as amended) applies on a subsidiary basis to administrative offence proceedings regarding merger control.
The merger control regime in Portugal closely follows the European Union merger control regime. Mergers meeting the thresholds of the European Merger Regulation (EUMR), although having effects in Portugal, are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the European Commission (Commission).
II YEAR IN REVIEW
According to the Authority's website, 64 concentrations were notified to the Authority in 2016 (against 60 concentrations notified in 2015). Sixty-three were authorised in Phase I without conditions. In relation to one of the concentrations notified in 2016, the Authority opened an in depth investigation (Phase II). None of the mergers notified in 2016 were prohibited. Seven of the mergers notified in 2016 were decided in 2017 and one is currently in Phase II.
Up until 22 May 2017, 18 concentrations had been notified to the Authority in 2017, 12 were authorised in Phase I without commitments and one notification was withdrawn by the notifying parties.
Three concentrations are worth further discussion.
i Parpública*Atlantic Gateway/TAP
On 20 July 2016, the acquisition of joint control of Portugal's flagship airline carrier TAP - Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, SGPS, SA (TAP) by Parpública - Participações Sociais SGPS, SA (Parpública) and Atlantic Gateway, SGPS, SA (Atlantic Gateway) was notified to the Authority.
Such concentration, whereby Parpública reacquired (joint) control over TAP, resulted in the ‘reversion' of the reprivatisation procedure of TAP carried out by the Portuguese State in 2015, whereas HPGB, SGPS, S.A. (HPGB Group) and DGN Corporation (DGN Corp), through Atlantic Gateway, had acquired joint control of the flagship airline carrier.
On 25 August 2016, the Authority issued a clearance decision in Phase I without commitments as it concluded that the notified concentration would not lead to any horizontal or vertical overlaps between Parpública and TAP's activity. Additionally, the Authority considered that no significant alterations to the market structure would derive from the notified concentration.
ii Bimbo/Panrico's Assets and Nutpor/Panrico's Assets
On 14 October 2015, Grupo Bimbo, SAB, CV (Bimbo) notified the acquisition of all the activities of Panrico, SAU (Panrico) (including its pre-packed bread and bread substitutes units), through its subsidiary Bakery Iberian Investments, SLU. However, on 22 February 2016, Bimbo withdrew the notification. Based on publicly available information, horizontal concerns in the market for pre-packaged bread had been identified by the Authority.
On 2 May 2016, Bimbo notified to the Authority the acquisition of exclusive control of Panrico, with the exception of its pre-packed bread and bread substitutes units. Such acquisition was also notified to the Spanish Competition Authority.
Two days after, Adam Foods, SLU (Adam Foods), through its Portuguese subsidiary Nutpor - Produtos Alimentares, Unipessoal Lda, notified the acquisition of sole control of Panrico's pre-packed bread and bread substitutes units. Adam Foods is not active in the market for pre-packaged bread.
On 23 June 2016, the Authority issued two Phase I clearance decisions without commitments. Regarding the Bimbo/Panrico's Assets concentration, it concluded that the notified concentration, despite the horizontal overlaps (and portfolio effects) in the market of industrial pastry and in the market for the wholesale and production of pre-packed bread for the food retail market, it would not lead to a SIEC in the identified relevant markets. As for the Nutpor/Panrico's assets, the Authority considered that no significant alterations to the market structure would derive from the notified concentration.
The only concentration subject to a Phase II involved the acquisition of exclusive control by SIBS, SGPS, SA, (SIBS) of a group of assets of Unicre - Instituição Financeira de crédito, SA (UNICRE) related to its merchant acquiring activity. The concentration was notified to the Authority on 8 September 2016.
SIBS is the holding company of the SIBS Group, specialist in complex interbank payment environments. SIBS supports several central banks, interbank processors and individual public and private bank initiatives in launching and reforming payment systems, comprising all card-related, terminal network driving and other payment-related solutions.
Unicre is a financial and credit institution and the assets object of the merger refer to its merchant acquiring business area, under the Redunicre brand, which designs and commercialises solutions for accepting payments in shops, both physical and virtual, with payment cards from the main national and international payment systems, including, among others, MB, Visa and MasterCard.
On 12 December 2016, the Authority adopted a decision to open an in-depth investigation into the concentration on the grounds that, given the information gathered during Phase I of the proceedings, including the comments of interested third parties, there were indications that the concentration may result in SIEC in the market for merchant acquiring services through physical POS. The interested parties admitted in the proceedings, which have submitted observations on the operation, include the Portuguese Association of Retailers, Portuguese financial institutions with acquiring business in Portugal and Visa Europe Services, Inc.
Up to 22 May 2017, the Authority had not yet concluded Phase II of the investigation and, therefore, no decision (either a non-opposition decision, with or without remedies, or an opposition decision) had been issued.
III THE MERGER CONTROL REGIME
The acquisition of a minority shareholding is only deemed a concentration if it confers control, either sole or joint, on the acquirer, and will only be notifiable if it meets the notification thresholds.
A concentration does not exist where:
a the acquisition of shareholdings or assets is performed by the insolvency administrator within the context of an insolvency procedure;
b the acquisition of shareholdings as mere collateral; and
c the acquisition by credit institutions, financial institutions or insurance companies of shareholdings in undertakings held on a temporary basis and acquired with a view to reselling the shareholdings, provided they are not to be held on a lasting basis and no voting rights are exercised in respect of such shareholdings.
The acquisition by the state of a controlling shareholding in a credit institution, or the transfer of its business to a transition bank as ordered by the Bank of Portugal, is also not considered to be a concentration (Article 20(1) of Law 63-A/2008, of 24 November, as amended).
The calculation of the turnover under the Competition Act closely follows the EUMR, including the replacement of the turnover by the sum of a set of items in the case of banking and insurance undertakings.
Since two of the notification thresholds are based on the market share, some uncertainty may arise. Special attention is necessary in these cases, as the Authority has proved to be extensive in its interpretation of the parties' market share threshold. In particular, this can be met by the target company alone (even in the absence of overlap between the parties).
Two or more concentrations between the same natural or legal persons within a period of two years, even when individually considered as not being subject to prior notification, are considered a single concentration subject to prior notification when the concentrations together reach the turnover thresholds.
Although not a concentration, the creation of a joint undertaking not performing all the functions of an autonomous economic entity may still be subject to the Act, and assessed as a restrictive practice, if it has as its object or effect the coordination of the competitive behaviour of independent undertakings, beyond the aim of creating the joint undertaking.
i Local effects test
Concentrations that take place or may produce effects in the Portuguese territory must be notified if one of the three thresholds mentioned in Section I, supra, is met. It is sufficient that at least one of the parties has direct or indirect sales in Portugal (even through an agent or distributor), even if any of the parties are established or have assets in Portugal. Foreign-to-foreign transactions must be notified if the jurisdictional thresholds are met.
Prior notification is mandatory, with no exceptions, for concentrations meeting the notification thresholds.
A concentration subject to mandatory notification must not be implemented prior to being notified and authorised (or before a specified lapse of time) by the Authority.
There are two exceptions to the obligation of non-implementation of the merger:
a a public offer of acquisition or exchange notified to the Authority may be implemented before a decision by the Authority provided the acquiring party does not exercise the voting rights inherent in the shareholding, or exercises them merely with a view to protecting the full value of its investment on the basis of a derogation previously granted; and
b before or after the notification filing, the notifying parties may submit a reasoned request to the Authority for a derogation from the obligation of no prior implementation. The Authority will analyse the consequences of suspending the operation (or of suspending the exercise of voting rights by the undertakings concerned) and the negative effects of the derogation on competition and may, if necessary, add to the derogation conditions or obligations destined to ensure effective competition. A complaint can be lodged against the decision to accept or reject the request for a derogation, but no appeal is admissible. To date, there have been very few derogation decisions, as the Authority is very restrictive in the granting of such waivers (derogations were recently granted for reasons of imminent bankruptcy).
ii Substantive assessment
The substantive assessment applied by the Authority is the significant impediment to effective competition test (SIEC), as set out in the EUMR. Concentrations likely to give rise to a SIEC in the domestic market or in a substantial part of it will be prohibited.
To determine the effects of the concentration on the structure of competition, the Authority will take into consideration the structure of the relevant markets, the position of the undertakings and their competitors in the relevant markets, the purchaser's market power, potential competition and the existence of barriers to entry.
The Authority's assessment can also include the consideration of any technical and economic progress that does not constitute an impediment to competition, provided there are efficiency gains that benefit consumers resulting directly from the concentration (efficiency defence), as well as the control of essential facilities by the parties and the possibility of access to these facilities provided for competing undertakings.
The Authority's draft Guidelines on economic assessment of horizontal mergers, published in February 2013, set out its methodology on the analysis of concentrations.
A decision authorising a concentration is considered to cover the restrictions directly related to the implementation of the concentration and necessary for it. Some of the ancillary restraints included in authorised concentrations include non-compete obligations between the seller and the acquirer in order to preserve the value of the acquired business, non-solicitation of customers and workers, and non-compete obligations between a joint venture and parent companies.
iii Filing of the notification
The notification must be filed by the undertaking or undertakings or person or persons acquiring control. The parties involved in a full merger or in the creation of a joint venture are responsible for jointly notifying the merger. In submitting the notification, the notifying parties are required to use the notification forms of Regulation 60/2013, of 14 February, which sets the procedural rules for merger notifications. Since 2009, merger notifications can be submitted electronically.
Notifications only become effective with the payment of the filing fee (as defined in Regulation 1/E/2003 on merger control procedure fees, of 25 July). An additional filing fee, corresponding to 50 per cent of the base fee, must be paid upon the opening of a Phase II investigation.
iv Consequences for not filing
There are serious consequences for not filing a concentration subject to mandatory notification. The most important consequence is the lack of production of legal effects for transactions implemented before notification and clearance. Transactions implemented in breach of a prohibition decision are null and void. The Authority may also revoke a concentration that has been implemented in disregard of a decision of non-opposition imposing conditions or obligations.
The Authority may impose on the notifying parties fines of up to 10 per cent of the turnover of the year immediately preceding the final decision issued by the Authority for each of the undertakings concerned. Persons holding positions in the managing bodies or responsible for the supervision of the relevant department may also be held responsible, with fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual income applying.
In cases of failure to notify, a periodic penalty payment of up to a maximum of 5 per cent of the average daily turnover in the year immediately before the decision can be imposed for each day of delay.
If the Authority becomes aware of a concentration subject to mandatory filing being implemented within the prior five years that was not previously notified, it can initiate ex officio proceedings, in which case the filing fees double.
The Authority can order the separation of the undertakings or of any aggregated assets, including the unwinding of the transaction or cessation of control, or take all the measures deemed necessary to restore the situation that existed prior to the concentration.
In situations in which a notified concentration was implemented before clearance, the Authority can order that the parties who acquired control immediately suspend their voting rights, that the board of directors not undertake any act that is not an act occurring in the ordinary course of managing the business, and can prohibit the disposal of shareholdings or parts of the assets of the acquired undertaking. Penalties for implementing an operation before express or tacit clearance by the Authority are similar to the ones levied for failure to notify.
In December 2012, the Authority issued its so far only decision for breach of the prior notification obligation, in the ex officio Farminveste/Pararede case, which concerned the acquisition, in June 2008, of sole control of Glintt - Global Intelligent Technologies, SGPS, SA by Farminveste - Gestão de Participações, SGPS, Lda. Three undertakings were fined €150,000 for implementing a concentration before receiving clearance. This decision was later quashed by the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court (the Competition Court) on grounds of infringement of the defendants' defence rights.
There is no fixed deadline for the notification filing; however, concentrations meeting the notification thresholds must not be implemented prior to being notified and authorised, or before a tacit decision is made by the Authority (standstill obligation).
The merger may be notified after the execution of the relevant agreement or, in the case of public offers of acquisition or exchange, following the date of the preliminary announcement of the public offer, or of the announcement of the acquisition of a controlling shareholding in an undertaking with shares listed on a regulated stock market. Concentrations resulting from a public procurement procedure may be notified after the definitive tender selection and before the public contract is signed off.
Concentrations may be also notified before the execution of the relevant agreement (voluntary notification) when the parties to the concentration offer a serious intention to conclude an agreement (e.g., by signing a letter of intent or a memorandum of understanding) or, in the case of a public offer of acquisition or exchange, where they have publicly announced their intention to make such an offer.
The notifying parties may, on a confidential and informal basis, enter into pre-notification contacts with the Authority up to 15 days before the expected notification date, according to the procedure set down in the Guidelines on pre-notification procedure (of 27 December 2012). Such contacts are designed to help determine whether the transaction is subject to notification, to identify which information needs to be provided and to explore possible competition concerns. The aim is to avoid possible suspensions for information requests, thus allowing for a quicker assessment of the concentration. As this pre-notification phase is not mandatory, there is not much information available on the estimated length of these pre-notification contacts, but in practice they take at least one month.
The assessment of a concentration may involve two phases (Phases I and II).
The standard initial phase is Phase I, during which the Authority will assess whether the concentration will result in SIEC in the relevant markets. Within 30 working days (extendable if information requests are made to the notifying parties), the Authority must conclude Phase I and decide that the case does not amount to a concentration; clear the concentration (with or without commitments); or open an in-depth investigation (Phase II) if it has serious doubts that the concentration will result in SIEC. The majority of concentrations in Portugal are decided in Phase I.
Phase II investigations must be concluded within a maximum time limit of 90 days from the date when the notification becomes effective. In practice, a period of 30 (or more) working days for Phase I, and a period of 60 working days for Phase II, respectively, are common. Upon request by the notifying party or with its agreement, the global time limit can be extended by the Authority for a period of up to a maximum of 20 working days. Within 75 working days from notification, the Authority hears the notifying parties and interested parties (unless the Authority intends to adopt a non-opposition decision without imposing conditions).
At the end of Phase II, the Authority may adopt either a clearance decision (with or without commitments) or a prohibition decision. Prohibition decisions can only be adopted in Phase II, with the exception of the merger in the Ongoing/Prisa/Media Capital case, which was prohibited in Phase I following the binding negative opinion of the media regulator (see below).
Both the 30 and the 90-working-day deadlines may be suspended if requests for additional information are made by the Authority to the notifying parties, if parties offer commitments (suspension for 20 working days), and in the case of a prior hearing of the notifying parties or of interested third parties having submitted observations.
If no decision is adopted within the time limits (including suspensions), a non-opposition decision is deemed to have been made (tacit decision). To date, there were only three tacit decisions, all in 2003 (the year of the Authority's creation). Despite the rule of tacit decision, the Authority does not seem to fear this possibility: in 2013, the notifying parties to the acquisition of Sport TV appealed to the Competition Court claiming that a tacit approval had occurred (due to the issuance of a legal opinion by the media regulator after the expiration of the deadline established), which the Authority rejected. The Competition Court agreed with the Authority.
The notifying party can at any time withdraw the notification as well as renounce its rights or legally protected interests, except in those cases stipulated in law.
vi Accelerating the procedure
Since 2012, a simplified procedure has been available for concentrations that, on a preliminary assessment, do not pose significant impediments to competition. Under Regulation 60/2013, concentrations where there are no horizontal overlaps, concentrations where the combined market share does not exceed 15 per cent (or 25 per cent if the share increase is not higher than 2 per cent) in horizontal mergers, or concentrations where the combined market share does not exceed 25 per cent in vertical or conglomerate mergers, may be notified using the simplified notification form, which requires a lower level of information to be provided to the Authority.
In July 2007, the Authority adopted its Simplified Procedure Guidelines, setting out a simplified (and faster) decision procedure available for concentrations that are not likely to raise competition concerns, such as concentrations that do not entail a significant change to the competitive structure of the market (no overlap), concentrations that have no significant horizontal or vertical effects (or negligible effects), or concentrations that do not amount to a concentration subject to mandatory pre-notification.
Pre-notification contacts with the Authority can substantially reduce the need for information requests, which stop the clock. Additionally, a voluntary notification is possible whenever the parties to the concentration offer a serious intention to conclude an agreement, which can also anticipate a decision by the Authority.
The notifying parties may offer commitments in Phase I when necessary to gain the approval of the Authority. In the EDP Renewables/Sociedades Ventinveste case, the acquisition by EDP Renewables, the Portuguese leading renewable energy operator, of several companies that managed wind farms, was decided in Phase I, with the offering of commitments by the notifying party.
vii Third-party rights
Within a time limit of five working days counting from the day when the notification becomes effective, the Authority will, at the expense of the notifying party, publish the key elements of the concentration in two daily national papers and set a time limit of no less than 10 working days for interested third parties to submit observations. Interested third parties that submit concerns regarding the concentration are considered opposing parties and are entitled to intervene in the prior hearing.
Prior to the adoption of any decisions (non-opposition or prohibition decisions), third parties that have already intervened in the procedure shall be heard. The prior hearing suspends the time periods for the adoption of the decision. Third parties opposing the transaction may also access a non-confidential version of the Authority's file in both Phases I and II information regarding the internal affairs of the parties may be considered by the Authority to be confidential if disclosure of such information to interested parties or third parties could cause serious damage.
Third parties can appeal Authority decisions adopted in the context of merger control.
The notifying parties may, at any time in Phase I or II, on their own initiative or after an informal invitation from the Authority, submit commitments with a view to ensuring that effective competition is maintained. Remedies can only be submitted by the parties, which must negotiate them with the Authority.
The Authority recommends that, in Phase I, parties submit commitments within 20 working days from notification and in Phase II, within 40 working days following the decision to open an in-depth investigation.
The submission of commitments suspends the time limit for the adoption of a decision for a period of 20 working days counting from the first working day following the submission of commitments and expiring on the day that the notifying party is informed of the Authority's decision to accept or refuse such commitments.
The Authority will refuse commitments whenever it considers that the submission is a delaying tactic, or that the commitments are insufficient to remedy the competition concerns. A complaint may be lodged against the refusal decision, but no autonomous appeal is allowed.
The authorisation of a concentration with remedies may be subject to conditions or obligations that are designed to maintain effective competition.
The Guidelines on Remedies (of 28 July 2011) set out detailed procedural rules on the proposal, negotiation and implementation of remedies, in line with the Commission's practice. Commitments may include structural (such as divestments) or behavioural commitments. Both were already accepted by the Authority. Behavioural remedies are normally permitted by the Authority (even in decisions where divestitures have been imposed), although in its Remedies Guidelines it declares that divestitures are preferable to behavioural commitments.
Non-compliance with the remedies is subject to consequences that include:
a the opening of an investigation of the breach;
b fines of up to 10 per cent of the company's turnover;
c possible revocation of the clearance decision; and
d the agreements related to the merger being considered null and void.
Merger control decisions are appealable to the Competition Court as special administrative judicial cases. Appeals must be lodged within three months of a merger's notification (although when the decision is null and void, there is no time limit for the appeal). The appeal does not have a suspensive effect unless such provision is established in the interim measures duly handed down.
Rulings handed down by the Competition Court in administrative cases are appealed to the Lisbon Appellate Court within 30 days of the appealed ruling. Appeals focusing on issues of law must be lodged directly to the Supreme Court of Justice.
Appeals against rulings by the Lisbon Appellate Court are lodged at the Supreme Court of Justice and must be limited to issues of law. These appeals do not have suspensive effect.
According to publicly available information, to date, only the prohibition decision in the Arriva/Barraqueiro case (the Competition Court upheld the decision and an appeal before the Lisbon Appellate Court is now pending), the clearance decision in the Arena Atlântida/Pavilhão Atlântico case (appeal lodged by a third-party competitor to the Competition Court, meanwhile dismissed) and the clearance decision in the case SUMA/EGF (an appeal to the Competition Court, which was lodged by third parties opposing the concentration, is currently pending) have been appealed.
In an appeal lodged before the Competition Court in 2014, the notifying parties requested the annulment of the Authority's decision to initiate an in-depth investigation based on the argument that the approval of the Controlinveste*ZON*PT/Sport TV*PPTV*Sportinveste merger had occurred by tacit consent. The appeal was denied by the Competition Court.
Under the Statutes of the Authority, prohibited merger decisions may also be appealed by the notifying parties to the Minister for the Economy within 30 days from the notification of the prohibition decision. The Council of Ministers may overturn a prohibition based on fundamental national economy interests that override the competition concerns of the concentration. This appeal has only been used once, in the Brisa/AEA case, a decision that had originally been prohibited as it would create a market share of more than 75 per cent in some transport routes.
x Regulatory review
The Authority has exclusive competence to decide on concentrations subject to mandatory prior notification. However, concentrations in markets subject to sectoral regulation (such as telecommunications, energy, transport, postal services, financial services, capital markets, insurance, health and media) are also subject to sector-specific legislation, which may involve additional assessment by the relevant regulatory authority.
The Authority, prior to making a final decision, must request the opinion of the sectoral regulatory authority, setting a reasonable time limit for its response. In general, with the exception of Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social, the media regulator, such opinions are not binding. However, when the opinion is binding, the time limit for the Authority to adopt a final decision is suspended. The absence of such binding opinions does not, however, prevent the Authority from adopting a final decision.
In the Ongoing/Prisa/Media Capital case, a concentration that involved the acquisition of joint control of Media Capital, which is active in the television and radio sectors, the Authority prohibited the merger (in Phase I) even though it raised no competition concerns, following the negative binding opinion of the media regulator, which considered the concentration to be likely to restrict media plurality and freedom of speech.
Mergers in particular sectors (such as insurance, banking and media) must also be approved by the relevant regulatory authorities.
IV OTHER STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS
Under Article 9 of the EUMR, the Authority has in several cases referred concentrations with a Community dimension to the Commission. The latest request, filed on 5 March 2015, concerned the acquisition by Altice, a multinational cable and telecommunications company, of the Portuguese and Hungarian assets of PT Portugal SGPS, which the Commission rejected.
Several concentrations meeting the notification thresholds of the Act have been referred to the Commission under Articles 4(5) and 22(4) of the EUMR.
Under the EUMR, the Authority has a regular and intensive cooperation agreement in place with the Commission and the national competition authorities of the other EU Member States (in particular, the Authority and the Spanish Competition Authority hold monthly meetings). It also takes part of the European Competition Network, the International Competition Network and the European Competition Authorities Association.
Moreover, both the regular and simplified forms require the notifying parties to indicate if and in which other national competition authorities the notified concentration has also been filed.
V OUTLOOK & CONCLUSIONS
In its priorities for the competition policy for 2017 (of 29 December 2016), the Authority established, as its priorities in the context of merger control, the optimisation of the merger control analysis process and the reduction of the duration of the investigations in all merger cases. In relation to complex cases, the Authority aims to reduce the duration of such cases in 5 to 10 per cent. The Authority also establishes as a priority the identification of non-notified mergers. There is no pending legislation in the context of merger control.
After some years where, due to the financial crisis in Portugal, the number of notified transactions drastically reduced, 2016 saw, as 2015, an increase in the number of notified concentrations, which was the result of the improvement of the general economic situation in Portugal. It is expected that this trend will continue in 2017.
Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro
Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro is partner of Cuatrecasas competition and EU law department since 2017, having been previously a counsel since August 2013.
From 2002 until 2013, he was a lawyer at Vieira de Almeida & Associados, in the competition and EU law department, and from 2005 until 2006, he was in charge of the firm's Brussels office.
He has wide experience of counselling clients in all areas of competition law, and in particular on behavioural aspects (antitrust), merger control and state aid.
He represents clients in various proceedings before national and European institutions in connection with the abuse of dominant positions, agreements restricting competition, merger control and state aid.
He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and seminars on subjects of European and competition law, and on electronic communication sector regulations.
He holds a law degree from the School of Law of the Catholic University (1999) and a master's (LLM) in community law from the School of Law of the University of Essex (2001), completed an advanced programme on regulation and competition economics at the School of Business and Economics of the Portuguese Catholic University (2004) and also holds a postgraduate degree in community competition law from King's College London, London University (2005).
MARTA FLORES DA SILVA
Marta Flores da Silva is a principal associate in the competition department of Cuatrecasas, Lisbon, having been previously an associate since September 2012, where her main practice focuses on merger control, cartels, state aid and abuse of dominant position. She previously worked as a trainee lawyer in the European law and competition department of Sociedade Rebelo de Sousa & Advogados Associados, Lisbon (2007-2010), and in the antitrust, competition and trade department of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels (2011-2012).
She holds a law degree from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon (2006), and undertook a postgraduate course in European law at the University Paris I Sorbonne (2007) and postgraduate course in telecommunications law and also holds a master's of European law (LLM) from the College of Europe, Bruges (2011).
Praça Marquês de Pombal, No. 2
Tel: +351 21 355 38 00
Fax: +351 21 353 23 62
1 Ricardo Bordalo Junqueiro is a partner and Marta Flores da Silva is an associate lawyer at Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, RL.
2 Case 31/2016 - Parpública*Atlantic Gateway/TAP.
3 Case 41/2015 - Atlantic Gateway/TAP.
4 Case 18/2016 - Bimbo/Ativos Panrico.
5 Case 19/2016 - Nutpor/Ativos Panrico.
6 Case 49/2015 - Grupo Bimbo/Panrico, SAU.
7 Case 37/2016 - SIBS/UNICRE.
8 Case 11/2010 - Triton/Stabilus.
9 Fines are calculated according to the Authority's Guidelines on setting fines, of 20 December 2012.
10 Case 47/2009 - Farminveste/Pararede.
11 To date, there have been only five prohibition decisions in Portugal: Arriva/Barraqueiro (Case 37/2004, 25 November 2005); Petrogal/Esso (Case 45/2004, 14 December 2005); Brisa/AEO/AEE (Case 22/2005, 7 April 2006); TAP/SPDH (Case 12/2009, 19 November 2009); and Controlinveste/ZON Optimus/PT (Case 4/2013, 31 July 2014).
12 Case 41/2009 - Ongoing/Prisa/Media Capital.
13 Case 55/2015 - EDP Renewables/Sociedades Ventinveste.
14 Case 4/2013 - Controlinveste*ZON*PT/Sport TV*PPTV*Sportinveste.
15 Created by Law 46/2011, of 24 June.
16 Case 37/2004 - Arriva/Barraqueiro.
17 Case 38/2012 - Arena Atlântida/Pavilhão Atlântico.
18 Case 37/2014 - SUMA/EGF.
19 Case 22/2005 - Brisa/AEA.
20 See footnote 6.
21 Case COMP/M.7499 - Altice/PT Portugal.