Parallel Session

A Region to Consider. Developments in Antitrust and Merger Control in the MENA Region

Thursday 26th September h. 11:30-12:15 (CET)
Managed by

Since Saudi Arabia introduced substantial amendments of the Kingdom’s merger control regime effective end of September 2019, the country developed into the most active merger control jurisdiction in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region. The evolution of the Saudi regime 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.

Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia 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 and in 2021 the GAC followed these up by issued comprehensive clarifications in their second merger guidelines. 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, but 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. The reforms in Morocco also moved slow at first. However, after the regime became active in 2020, first gun jumping fines—including in foreign-to-foreign transaction—brought the regime to the attention of a global public. Since then the Moroccan legislator issued new notification thresholds and the Moroccan Competition Council published comprehensive merger control guidelines.

This penal will explore current practices and imminent developments in Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. It will address practical challenges with the application of the merger control regimes including, assessment of local nexus, application of information and document requirements for international corporates and PE firms, timeline considerations, and strategies to navigate merger control filings and review in the the MENA region.


Fevzi Toksoy
Managing Partner, ACTECON


Bahadir Balki
Managing Partner, ACTECON

Hanna Stakheyeva
Of Counsel, ACTECON

Gian Luca Zampa
Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Pinar Akman
Professor of Competition Law & Member, Competition Appeal Tribunal


Cinema Troisi
Via Girolamo Induno 1, Rome

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