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Results: 4 Answers
Merger Control
Legal and enforcement framework
Which legislative and regulatory provisions govern merger control in your jurisdiction?
The Maltese Competition Act (Chapter 379 of the Laws of Malta) is the main legislative instrument that regulates competition law in Malta - in particular, Articles 5 and 9 thereof, which implement Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union respectively.

In addition to the general Competition Act, merger control in Malta is governed by the Control of Concentrations Regulations, which were adopted as subsidiary legislation (Subsidiary Legislation 379.09) under the Competition Act.

For more information about this answer please contact: Andrew Zammit from GVZH Advocates
Do any special regimes apply in specific sectors (eg, national security, essential public services)?
While, in accordance with Article 30(1) of the Competition Act, the actions of public or state-owned entities are not immune from the Competition Act, undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest or with the character of a revenue-producing monopoly shall not be subject to the Competition Act insofar as the application of such rules obstructs the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular tasks assigned to them. In this respect, the minister responsible for competition matters may, by order in the Government Gazette, declare a specific service entrusted to a particular undertaking to be a service in the general economic interest.

Furthermore, pursuant to Article 8 of the Competition Act, the minister may, after consultation with the board, exempt from Article 5(1) particular categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices, where the latter satisfy the requirements of Article 5(3).

For more information about this answer please contact: Andrew Zammit from GVZH Advocates
Which body is responsible for enforcing the merger control regime? What powers does it have?
The regulatory body responsible for merger control is the Office for Competition, within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA), which is headed by the director general (DG).

The DG is competent to examine concentrations between undertakings in terms of their effect on the market and to clear or prohibit such concentrations, depending on whether he or she is satisfied that the acquisition will have the effect of substantially lessening competition on the market.

The Control of Concentrations Regulations confer numerous powers upon the DG to be able to carry out his or her duties and undertake all necessary investigations into undertakings and associations of undertakings. Thus, the DG has the power to:

  • examine the books and other business records;
  • take or demand copies of or extracts from the books and business records;
  • request oral explanations on the spot; and
  • enter any premises, land and means of transport of undertakings.

Similar investigative powers are also provided in the Competition Act, which allows the DG to request any undertaking or association of undertakings to furnish him or her with any information or document in its possession that the DG may have reason to believe is relevant to the matter under investigation.

In this respect, the DG’s power is limited only where disclosure of the documents or information could impinge on the duty of professional secrecy.

For more information about this answer please contact: Andrew Zammit from GVZH Advocates