Germany and Austria recently introduced new alternative merger control thresholds based on transaction value. At EU level the introduction of a value-based filing threshold is also being discussed. The new value-based filing thresholds are designed to capture deals in the digital and healthcare sectors in particular, where the target generates little if any revenue. For healthcare and life sciences companies this means that acquisitions of start-ups as well as potentially licensing transactions involving upfront payments, milestone and royalty payments may require upfront merger control. Failing to notify a transaction or implementing a transaction before receiving merger clearance (so-called gun jumping) can result in the imposition of very high fines by the relevant competition authorities.
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