Friday, 17 December 2021

Press Release - Clearance of an acquisition

Subject: Clearance of the proposed acquisition by VIVARTIA S.A. of sole control over the companies HELLENIC DOUGH and MAKEDONIKI SFOLIATA (ALESIS S.A.)

By its Decision No. 754/2021 on 15th of December 2021, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) unanimously approved, under Greek merger control rules (Law No. 3959/2011), the proposed acquisition of sole control of HELLENIC DOUGH and MAKEDONIKI SFOLIATA (ALESIS S.A.) by VIVARTIA S.A. The notified concentration concerns the change of the quality of control from joint to sole control.

The above-mentioned prior notification refers to the horizontal affected markets of frozen dough and finished frozen products of dough for household use. It also refers to the vertical affected market of airline flights’ atering and the market of exploitation of airport cafeteria.

Following the appraisal of the notified concentration in the horizontal affected markets the HHC decided that the increase of the market shares in the affected markets is negligible and in any case below 1%. In assessing the vertical effects in the vertical affected markets, the HCC decided that the notified concentration does not foreclosure competition by raising the costs at which competitors can operate on the downstream market (raising rivals’ cost theory) - typically associated with input foreclosure and / or lowering the expected revenue streams of upstream competitors (reducing rivals’ revenues) - typically associated with customer foreclosure

With regard to the conglomerate effects of the notified concentration, that is, the effects of the concentration between firms that have no existing or potential relationship either as competitors or as suppliers or customers[1], the HCC decided that the chance of making sales of one product conditional on the sales of others through practices like bundling, tying by the parties to the concentration is negligible, since the merging parties do not possess significant market power and there exist alternative sources of supply in the relevant markets under scrutiny. 

The HCC decided, according to article 8 par 3 of Law No. 3959/2011 (Greek Competition Act) that the notified transaction does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with merger control rules in the relevant markets concerned by the concentration.

[1] Under some circumstances, conglomerate mergers may raise competitive concerns where the merging firms are suppliers of complementary, non-competing but closely related products requested by the same set of customers.

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