The main legislative texts for merger decisions are the EC Merger Regulation the Implementing Regulation.
The Merger Regulation contains the main rules for the assessment of concentrations, whereas the Implementing Regulation concerns procedural issues (notification, deadlines, right to be heard, etc.). The official forms for standard merger notifications (Form CO), simplified merger notifications (Short Form CO) and referral requests (Form RS) are attached to the Implementing Regulation.
In the field of mergers, notices and guidelines play an important role for the interpretation of the Merger Regulation.
Commission Notices, Communications and Guidelines are capable of producing legal effects. Notices are not binding on EU courts. Guidelines are rules of practice, not rules of law.
The Commission has also published "Best Practice Guidelines" which concern the relationship between case teams and parties/third parties during the procedure (pre-notification contacts, meetings, provision of documents). To provide better guidance to the parties when it comes to offering commitments, the Commission has also published model texts for divestiture commitments and for trustee mandates and an explanatory guideline.
Compilation of Merger Legislation: Framework Legislation, Implementing Legislation, Notices and Guidelines