Form A/B, Form CO (long-form, short-form), Form RS, Form C

EU competition law terms for a series of forms for submitting agreements, mergers or complaints to the European Commission’s Competition Directorate. The use of the various forms is or was as follows

Form A/B: until May 2004, when new procedures were introduced this questionnaires for the notification of agreements or arrangements that raised issues under European competition law was filed with the European Commission seeking an individual exemption or approval of the agreement or arrangement under Articles 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union TFEU. Although the notification procedure was abolished under Regulation 1/2003 (and all pending notifications lapsed in May 2004) the new regulation contained a “”savings clause”” effectively preserving the benefit of decisions and procedural action taken under the old regulation. Since under that old regulation, patent pools and various were exempted from illegality under Article 81(1) (or the subject of comfort letters), provided the notified information was full and correct, the contents of the Form A/Bs filed pre-2004 remain of some relevance.

Form C: is used to make a complaint to the European Commission regarding a violation of European Competition Law and in particular Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.

Form CO: is a detailed questionnaire that is required to be filed on concentrations, typically mergers, that fall within the EU turnover threshold (See Merger Regulation, European). There are two versions of Form CO, the long form and the short form. The long form is filed on agreements that are considered to raise competitive concerns in that they involve a joint venture with a turnover of more than €100 million, a merger where the parties combined market share in relevant EU markets is more than 15 percent. In effect, the long form is required for most mergers and joint ventures between entities that are substantial competitors. The short form CO may be used for mergers which are eligible for treatment under the EU’s simplified procedure because the merging companies are not substantial competitors (e.g., their combined market shares is under 15 percent, the concentrative joint venture they are establishing will have a turnover of less than €100 million, etc.)

Form RS: is used to make a “”Reasoned Submission,”” under Article 4(4) of the EU merger regulation, to the effect that the competitive impact(s) of a proposed merger effects the market within a single member state and as such, the merger or at least a specific competitive issue with respect to the merger should be reviewed by the competition authority(ies) of the state(s) specified in the Form RS. Effectively a form RS is a request to the Commission to transfer the review of an issue from the Commission and EU law to a member state and its domestic competition law. See German Clause.

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