OFT increases merger fees

United Kingdom

The Office of Fair Trading (the “OFT”) has increased the level of fees to be paid in relation to merger notifications.

Increased fees

The increased fees (see table below) will apply from 1 October 2012. The fees will vary according to the UK turnover of the acquired enterprise and apply as follows:

Charge band: value of the UK turnover of the enterprise(s) being acquired Fee on or after 1 October 2012
£20 million or less £40,000
(an increase of £10,000)
Over £20 million but not over £70 million £80,000
(an increase of £20,000
Over £70 million but does not exceed £120 million £120,000
(an increase of £30,000)
Exceeds £120 million £160,000
(an increase of £70,000)

The cost of notifying a merger in the UK is now significant. The aim of the increases is to enable the merger control system to achieve a 60% rate of cost recovery. Whilst UK merger control remains a voluntary regime, companies will still need to assess carefully whether a notification is appropriate.