Competition law

Ogier has one of the largest competition law teams in the Channel Islands and has arguably been involved in more merger approval and exemption application filings than any other team in the Channel Islands. Our clients include financial institutions, well known global organisations, and businesses local to the Channel Islands.

Competition law in each of the Channel Islands is subject to its own legislation and its own regulator.

The regulators - the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) and the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority (GCRA) - operate under the collective name of the Channel Island Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA).

CICRA regulates the three main pillars of competition law - anti-competitive agreements, abuses of a dominant position and mergers and acquisitions. Of these, it is the third pillar that gives rise to most concerns for our clients due to the increase in mergers and acquisitions we are seeing with a Jersey and/or Guernsey nexus.

What is critically important for clients to understand is that the jurisdictional thresholds for notifiable transactions in Jersey and Guernsey are very different – Jersey applies a share of supply or purchase test and Guernsey a turnover test - and that the merger approval regimes are mandatory and suspensory.

In addition to CICRA's powers to levy behavioural, structural and financial remedies, notifiable transactions relating the change in ownership of a Jersey or a Guernsey company are rendered void as a matter of law if CICRA has not approved the transaction prior to completion.

Services

Ogier's Competition team undertakes the following:

  • Advising as to whether a transaction is caught by one or both of the merger approval jurisdictional tests in Jersey and/or Guernsey.
  • Leading or working alongside lead counsel in preparing merger applications and liaising with CICRA throughout process, from pre-notification to agreeing the confidential form of the decision.
  • Advising on the risks of a transaction entering into a second detailed review (analogous to the Commission's Phase 2 review).
  • Advising whether an arrangement constitutes an anti-competitive arrangement.
  • Advising on and submitting individual exemptions in respect of an arrangement that would otherwise be prohibited as being anti-competitive.
  • Advising on whether an arrangement constitute a cartels or bid rigging and the possible application of CICRA's leniency policy.
  • Advising on potential abuses of dominant positions.

Related Services