North Macedonia: Merger Control Deadlines During COVID-19

North Macedonia

North Macedonia: Merger Control Deadlines During COVID-19

We have already reported that, during the COVID-19 outbreak, merger control deadlines in Serbia are modified. North Macedonia has also modified its merger control deadlines during the coronavirus emergency.

North Macedonia in a state of emergency

Like most of Europe, North Macedonia has been significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. To try to contain the outbreak, the North Macedonian government introduced a state of emergency mid March.

What are the merger control deadlines in North Macedonia?

According to the North Macedonian competition legislation, the country’s national competition authority (NCA), the Commission for Protection of Competition, has 25 working days to either clear the notified transaction in Phase I or open a Phase II. This 25-working-day deadline starts to run from the date when the applicant submits a complete notification.

How does the state of emergency affect the merger control deadlines?

Following the introduction of the state of emergency, the North Macedonian government has adopted a decree regulating the statutory time limits in administrative proceedings. According to the decree, these time limits will not run during the state of emergency. Upon a reasoned request of the party, the official conducting the proceedings may decide that the relevant deadlines continue to run even during the state of emergency.

This means that, for merger notifications submitted during the state of emergency, the 25-working-day deadline would start to run only after the state of emergency would end, unless the official conducting the proceedings would decide otherwise.

There is also a special rule for mergers notified to the North Macedonian NCA before the state of emergency had been declared, but not cleared yet. For these proceedings, the state of emergency will not restart the clock; rather, the clock will only pause and would continue to run once the state of emergency would end.

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For additional information about the merger control procedure in North Macedonia, please contact Dr. Dragan Gajin, Head of Competition at Doklestic Repic & Gajin.

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