The Saudi Competition Authority approved 35 applications focused during the second quarter of 2021

The General Authority for Competition announced the figures for the second quarter of this year regarding applications for economic concentration. The authority received 85 applications, of which 35 were applications in which no-objection decisions were issued by the authority, with an increase of 35% over the previous quarter of this year.

The authority receives reports of economic concentration (mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures), then studies them and issues the necessary decisions. It is also concerned with studying the market and sectors in the event of violations of the competition law, or to promote competition in sectors.

The nature of the requests for economic concentration initiated by the authority varied. Whereas, the General Authority for Competition issued 35 approvals for concentration operations during the second quarter, and dealt with 36 of the total non-reportable applications, while 14 applications are still under study.

Acquisition applications obtained the largest share of the total applications for which a letter of no objection was issued, reaching 27 applications out of 35, which represents 77%, while the number of merger applications reached four applications, and joint ventures four applications. 8 requests, followed by the manufacturing industry with 7 requests, which represents 23% and 20% of the total requests, respectively, while the information and communications sector came third with 6 requests, representing 17% of the total requests approved during the second quarter.

With regard to mergers and acquisitions, the General Authority for Competition issued, during the second quarter, the “Guiding Principles Guide for Examining Mergers and Acquisitions”, which accurately explains all the stages of reporting on economic concentration from the start of the deal until the authority’s issuance of its decision.

The increase in requests for economic concentration in the first half of this year is largely due to the growing knowledge of the competition system, the increased commitment of local and foreign firms to it, and the desire of many foreign firms to enter the Saudi market, which is considered one of the attractive markets in the region during the past years.

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