A study of the factors that lead to the non-notification of notiafiable mergers in Zambia
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It has been recognized that in the absence of merger control regulation, society would see harm to business as suppliers become uncompetitive, inefficient, costly and not responsive to their competitive environment as well as harm consumers. The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors that lead to the non-notification of notifiable mergers. The research design used was that of a cross sectional survey. The researcher adopted both the qualitative (interview guide) and quantitative (closed ended questionnaire) research approaches. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0 whereas qualitative data was analysed using Content Analysis. The sampling technique was purposive sampling, due to the fact that many companies fall below the notification threshold and the fact that only the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is tasked by law to review and authorize mergers. The sample size for this study, in particular the administration of questionnaires was 60 whereas the sample size for the interviews was 14. The samples comprised of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Private Companies, Law Firms and Accounting firms. The findings of the research show that the myriad of factors that lead to the non-notification of notifiable mergers in Zambia are high notification fees, longer merger review process, negligence of the law, ignorance of the law, notification process not being digital and lack of adequate sensitizations on mergers. The results show that the merger review process to a larger extent leads to the non-notification of notifiable mergers in Zambia particularly its duration. In conclusion, the research concludes legal, financial and informational factors have lead to the non-notification of notifiable mergers in Zambia. The findings of the research fills in the gaps in knowledge of the factors that lead to the non-notification of notifiable mergers in Zambia and provides a basis upon which to make recommendations. The research recommends that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should come up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) that viii aims at reducing the merger notification fees. A set of recommendations to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission include the review the Competition and Consumer Protection Act ( the “Act”)with the aim of reducing the number of days it takes to review a merger; stiffening the penalties for implementing a notifiable merger without authority; increase sensitizations on mergers; make the merger notification process digital; decentralise the mergers department to other provinces and lastly work hand in hand with other regulators such so as to track notifiable mergers that have not been notified.
The University of Zambia