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International experience shows that 80-85% of mergers and acquisitions do not raise competitive concerns and are generally approved between 30-60 days. The rest tend to take longer time and, therefore, laws permit sufficient time for looking into complex cases. The International Competition Network, an association of global competition authorities, had recommended that the straight forward cases should be dealt with within six weeks and complex cases within six months. 
The Indian competition law prescribes a maximum of 210 days for determination of combination, which includes mergers, amalgamations, acquisitions etc. This however should not be read as the minimum period of compulsory wait for parties who will notify the Competition Commission. In fact, the law clearly states that the compulsory wait period is either 210 days from the filing of the notice or the order of the Commission, whichever is earlier. In the event the Commission approves a proposed combination on the 30th day, it can take effect on the 31st day. The internal time limits within the overall gap of 210 days are proposed to be built in the regulations that the Commission will be drafting, so that the over whelming proportion of mergers would receive approval within a much shorter period.
The time lines prescribed under the Act and the Regulations do not take cognizance of the compliances to be observed under other statutory provisions like the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997 (‘SEBI Takeover Regulations’). SEBI Takeover Regulations require the acquirer to complete all procedures relating to the public offer including payment of consideration to the shareholders who have accepted the offer, within 90 days from the date of public announcement. Similarly, mergers and amalgamations get completed generally in 3-4 months’ time. Failure to make payments to the shareholders in the public offer within the time stipulated in the SEBI Takeover Regulations entails payment of interest by the acquirer at a rate as may be specified by SEBI. [Regulation 22(12) of the SEBI Takeover Regulations] It would therefore be essential that the maximum turnaround time for CCI should be reduced from 210 days to 90 days.


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