New merger rules come into force in Ireland today, Friday, 31 October 2014, under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act ("2014 Act"). In this short note we highlight three very important changes to Ireland's media merger regime. Our briefing on the 2014 Act and the new merger thresholds applicable to all other mergers is available here.
EUMR transactions involving 'media mergers' require notification in Ireland
For the first time, where an undertaking carries on a 'media business' in Ireland and acquires a 'media business' elsewhere and that merger is notified to the Commission under the EU Merger Regulation it must also be notified to the Irish Minister for Communications ("Minister"). A notification can only be made to the Minister after the Form CO is submitted and before the transaction is put into effect. Once notified, the Minister must carry out a review of the transaction taking account of media plurality issues.
What is a media business? A small drafting change, a giant leap online!
The existing rules captured traditional media businesses such as newspapers, periodicals and broadcasters such as television and radio. The rules are now extended to include businesses that make available "on an electronic communications network any written, audio-visual or photographic material, consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs that is...