Skip to the page Primary Navigation Skip to the page content Skip to page Footer
The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.


When two businesses merge or form a joint venture, it may reduce competition. Mergers that could substantially lessen competition can be prohibited or have certain conditions imposed.

The OFT is responsible for investigating mergers in the first instance. If we believe a merger might result in a substantial lessening of competition, we can refer it to the Competition Commission for an in-depth inquiry.

Mergers are only investigated if they meet certain criteria. Crucially, either the business being taken over must have a turnover in the UK of at least £70 million, or the merged entity would have to have a share of 25 per cent or more of the supply of a particular category of goods or services in a substantial part of the UK. As a result, many mergers between smaller businesses are not subject to investigation.

If you are involved in a merger of any size, you will need legal advice.

To find out more visit the mergers area.

Back to: Competing fairly

See also

On this site...

Recently viewed pages

This feature requires Javascript and Cookies to be enabled on your browser

Email alerts

Register for email alerts or amend your existing account details here.