The evolution of the Saudi regime in September 2019 was followed by a wave of reforms through out the region with the first country to follow being Morocco which implemented reforms in 2020. Kuwait followed in 2021, and Egypt initiating a process of changing from a post- to a pre-closing notification regime end of 2022.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt continuous to be the most rapidly evolving merger control jurisdictions in the MENA region. The Saudi General Authority for Competition (GAC) in 2020 issue first merger guidelines. These were limited to clarifications on the notification threshold and how it would be calculated. In 2021 the GAC followed these up by issued comprehensive clarifications in their second merger guidelines and since took steps to further develop and adjust their merger control regime. The reform process in Egypt was initiated in 2017 when the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) proposed changing the countries post-closing notification to a pre-closing notification regime. The process initially stagnated, it took up momentum in 2019 when reforms of the country's merger control and antitrust laws was recommended by the IMF in connection with their extending extensive loans to Egypt. Still, it took until December 2022 when the Egyptian legislator passed amendments to the Egyptian Competition Law that introduced a pre-closing notification obligation.
This webinar will explore current practices & imminent developments in the MENA Region. It will address practical challenges with the application of the Saudi merger control regime, and strategies to navigate merger control filings and review in the Kingdom. Furthermore, the webinar will discuss the current state of the reforms of the Egyptian merger control regime, the scope of its application including on foreign-to-foreign transactions, and what parties need to consider when structuring transactions with (possible) implications for Egypt.