In the January e-bulletin we reported that the OFT had decided to suspend (until further notice) the provision of confidential guidance and informal advice to parties considering a merger.  This month, new interim procedures have been announced, effectively reinstating the service of "fireside chats".  As long as there is a bona fide intention to go ahead with a merger which might draw the attention of the watchdog and result in a reference to the Competition Commission, the OFT is resuming this non-statutory service.  This latest policy is temporary in anticipation of formal guidelines being announced next year.

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