Recent Developments in Austrian Antitrust Regulations The Austrian Merger Clearance Regime in 2022 – an up-to-date overview

Sarah Kasslatter, Associate, Graf Isola, Austria
Andreas Edlinger, Attorney at Law, Graf Isola, Austria
Robert Gulla, General Counsel, Lukoil, Austria
Ferdinand Graf, Partner, Graf Isola, Austria

On the occasion of the implementation of the ECN+ directive, the Austrian legislator introduced some important changes to the Austrian merger rules last year, which are applicable to Austrian mergers as of January 1, 2022 (‘CCA Amendment 2021’ ). This article explains the amended Austrian merger clearance regime, focusing inter alia on the turnover thresholds triggering a pre-merger notification duty and the examination by the competent authority of whether a merger is going to get green light. It also highlights practical consequences in light of Austria’s direct foreign investment regime, an area of significant practical importance for foreign investment into Austria or with an Austria nexus, which has been interlinked by the CCA Amendment 2021 with the merger clearance process.

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Austria Competition Energy July 2022

Sarah Kasslatter

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Sarah Kasslatter is associate at GRAF ISOLA. She supports and advises national and international companies in various areas of business law. Her areas of specialization include corporate and commercial law, competition and antitrust law, IP/IT law as well as international trade law. Sarah Kasslatter studied law at the University of Vienna and at the University KU Leuven in Belgium.

Andreas Edlinger

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Andreas Edlinger is attorney at law at GRAF ISOLA. His area of expertise is corporate law. He advises international group companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. His expertise covers company set-ups, international restructurings (including cross-border mergers) and the acquisition or sale of shareholdings and assets. In this context, Andreas Edlinger also assists with the corresponding merger filings under antitrust law. He supports and advises auditors in the course of their work, in particular on capital market transactions.

Robert Gulla

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Robert Gulla is General Counsel of Lukoil International GmbH.

Ferdinand Graf

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Ferdinand Graf is a founding partner of GRAF ISOLA. He advises domestic and foreign companies on ongoing corporate law issues as well as on cross-border M&A transactions and restructurings. In his areas of expertise, Ferdinand is also active as a litigator. Ferdinand Graf has international experience through his studies in the United States and his work in law firms in New York and Washington. He is also admitted to the New York State Bar. He publishes regularly in his areas of expertise, in particular competition and antitrust law and, most recently, extensively on data protection law. Together with his team, Ferdinand Graf has been advising LUKOIL for more than 20 years.

Graf Isola

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GRAF ISOLA was founded in 1994 and is one of the leading independent Austrian commercial law firms with offices in Vienna and Graz. The full-service firm advises in all fields of Austrian and European business law with a client base from all sectors of industry – both domestic and foreign – as well as public authorities. GRAF ISOLA has 25 qualified lawyers including seven partners – most are recognized experts in their field and have years of international experience. The firm is internationally known for its hard work approach and efficient and creative way of handling complex cases in a solution-oriented manner. GRAF ISOLA has an extensive network with international leading law firms across the globe – with whom the firm regularly co-operates based on a best friends philosophy.

Lukoil

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LUKOIL INTERNATIONAL GmbH (Austria) is the holding company of an international oil and gas & energy group, active in the areas of refining and petrochemicals, marketing through own retail networks and wholesale trading companies, oil and gas exploration and production, lubricants production and trading as well as wind and solar power production in more than 40 countries.

Graf Isola

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GRAF ISOLA was founded in 1994 and is one of the leading independent Austrian commercial law firms with offices in Vienna and Graz. The full-service firm advises in all fields of Austrian and European business law with a client base from all sectors of industry – both domestic and foreign – as well as public authorities. GRAF ISOLA has 25 qualified lawyers including seven partners – most are recognized experts in their field and have years of international experience. The firm is internationally known for its hard work approach and efficient and creative way of handling complex cases in a solution-oriented manner. GRAF ISOLA has an extensive network with international leading law firms across the globe – with whom the firm regularly co-operates based on a best friends philosophy.

Austria Competition Energy July 2022

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