The Icelandic Competition Authority approves a merger consisting of the acquisition of Honda Iceland by Askja car-dealership


With its decision no. 20/2019, the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA), has approved the acquisition of Askja ehf. car-dealership of the operation consisting of import and sales of Honda vehicles hitherto run by Bernhard ehf. car-dealership.

Until the acquisition, which is regarded as a merger by ICA, Askja has been the licenced importer of Mercedes-Benz and Kia vehicles in Iceland, whilst Bernhard has been the licenced importer of Honda vehicles. Broadly speaking, both Askja and Bernhard have offered similar products, i.e. passenger cars. Whilst not considered relevant for the case in question, ICA considers that the market for passenger cars could possibly be delineated into further segments.

Askja and Bernhard have also operated in the market for service and repair of motor vehicles. Their services are especially targeted at maintenance of cars of the respective brands they import. Furthermore, there are third party service providers, i.e. garages, certified to provide maintenance to such respective car brands. ICA iterated that although the circumstances of the case did not necessitate such examination, a specific market for service and repair of certain brands could not be ruled out.

With respect to the preceding examination, ICA concluded that the transaction in question constituted a merger in accordance with the Icelandic competition Act. The circumstances of the case did however not warrant further examination or intervention. 

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