The OFT and the Competition Commission are under a duty to perform regulatory controls of mergers and in 1990 a charging system was put into place to cover the costs of the authorities. As of 6 April this year, the fees payable by acquiring companies are to be increased significantly, something which will be unpopular with businesses. The DTI defends the increase as being reasonable as the level of fees has remained unchanged since 1990. The DTI claims that the existing levels of fees no longer meet the administrative costs of the OFT and the Competition Commission. The increase is taking place in two stages, as follows:
- The enterprise being acquired has a UK turnover of less than £20 million – the fee will be £15,000 (currently £5,000). On 6 April 2009 this increases to £30,000.
- The enterprise being acquired has a UK turnover between £20-70 million – the fee will be £30,000 (currently £10,000). On 6 April 2009 this increases to £60,000.
- The enterprise being acquired has a UK turnover exceeding £70 million – the fee will be £45,000 (currently £15,000). On 6 April this increases to £90,000.