On Friday 6 January 2006 the UK Government announced that it will increase fees charged by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for transactions qualifying for a merger investigation under UK merger control law. The first increase comes into effect on 6 April 2006 and the second on 6 April 2009. The fees will apply not only to transactions notified by the parties but also to qualifying mergers reviewed by the OFT on its own initiative. Small and medium-sized enterprises continue to be exempt from the fees. However, the new rules will, for the first time, require non-UK acquirers to pay a merger review fee.
The current and new fee levels are banded according to the annual turnover of the target, as shown below:
|UK turnover of target||Current Fee||Fee from April 2006||Fee from April 2009|
|£20 million or less||£5,000||£15,000||£30,000|
|Between £20 million and £70||£10,000||£30,000||£60,000|
|Exceeds £70 million||£15,000||£45,000||£90,000|