The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed the September date today (30 June), explaining that it feels its Inquiry Group won’t be able to complete their work by 17 July as scheduled and will now look to publish the ruling before 11 September.
It was in December last year that the CMA set up a Panel Members Inquiry Group and its investigation is the only one remaining globally around the merger, which has seen Veolia take over Suez’s activities throughout most of the word with some divestments.
In the UK the deal has been put on hold and Veolia recently said it would sell off Suez UK rather than seeing the UK situation disrupt the overall merger of the Veolia and Suez business (see letsrecycle.com story). Now even that option seems to be on hold with the latest CMA announcement.
The CMA explained that: “The Inquiry Group has decided that the reference period should be extended by eight weeks under section 39(3) of the Act as it considers there are special reasons (set out below) why the Final Report cannot be prepared and published within the reference period.”
The revised reference period will expire on 11 September 2022, it added.
‘As soon as possible’
However, the Inquiry Group said that aims to complete the inquiry “as soon as possible and in advance of this date”.
The Inquiry Group said it “had regard to the scope and complexity of the inquiry”
In taking this decision, the Inquiry Group said it “had regard to the scope and complexity of the inquiry, the need to consider issues raised by the main parties’ and third parties’ submissions, and the need to reach a fully reasoned Final Report in the statutory timeframe.”
A CMA statement continued: “In light of these factors, the Inquiry Group considers that completion of its inquiry and the publication of its Final Report, including the remedies process, will not be possible within the original reference period.”
The statement was signed by Inquiry Group chairman, Stuart McIntosh.