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Samkaup's acquisition of two stores owned by Basko verslanir in Akureyri and Reykjanesbær

  • Get document
  • Case number: 14/2019
  • Date: 17/5/2019
  • Company:
    • Samkaup hf.
    • Basko ehf.
  • Sectors:
    • Consumer goods, supplies and etc.
  • Policy Area:
    • Mergers
  • Summary

    The Competition Authority has annulled a merger, which concerns Samkaup's acquisition of two stores owned by Basko verslanir in Akureyri and Reykjanesbær. It is the opinion of ICA that the acquisition would have seriously distorted competition in these regions. The number of actual rivals would have decreased from three to two in Akureyri and from four to three in Reykjanesbær. The merger would have been to the detriment of consumers, as explained in more detail in ICA's decision. Among other things, ICA carried out consumer surveys at stores in these locations, in order to assess competition in the relevant areas.

    Previously, ICA had approved Samkaup's acquisition of 12 stores from Basko verslanir, cf. Decision no. 29/2018. In that case, which originally concerned 14 stores, ICA indicated to the merging parities in the first stages of the case that it appeared that the merger would not have an adverse effect on competition in Reykjavik, but it were likely to harm competition in certain local areas, especially in Suðurnes and Akureyri.

    The investigation of the case reinforced this assessment by ICA. The merging parties then decided to exclude the two stores in Akureyri and Reykjanesbær from the original purchase agreement. On that basis, ICA was able to approve the acquisition of the 12 stores in Reykjavik, cf. said decision. Subsequently, the parties to the merger notified again the acquisition of the two remaining stores, which are the subject of this case.

    Samkaup's acquisition of Basko's stores in the capital area has strengthened Samkaup's position as the third largest competitor in the grocery market. However, this cannot be at the expense of consumers in Reykjanesbær and Akureyri. It was therefore inevitable to annul the transaction in that respect.