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Merger of Síldarvinnslan hf. and Vísir hf.

With decision no. 28/2022 the purchase of Síldarvinnslan hf.‘s entire share capital in the fishing company Vísir hf. was considered and investigated. The conclusion of the investigation is that there are no grounds for intervention in the case.

In the previous decisions of the Competition Authority concerning Síldarvinnslan, the authority has obtained information and opinions about relationship with Samherja hf. and Gjögur hf./Kjálkanes ehf. Investigations have revealed significant management, ownership and business relationships between the aforementioned entities, which include evidence that control has been established in Síldarvinnslan beyond what has previously been reported in merger announcements.

The information available in this merger case continues to indicate ownership, management and business relationships between Síldarvinnslan, Samherji and Gjögur/Kjálkanes. For that reason, the competitive effects of the merger were examined from two perspectives, ie. on the one hand, based on the merger as it was reported, and on the other hand, based on the possible control of Samherji and related companies over Síldarvinnslan.

It is the conclusion of the ICA that there are no grounds for intervention, regardless of the narrower or wider control defintion. Thus, there are no grounds to conclude that a market dominant position is being created or strengthened. Also, the available data do not indicate that competition is disturbed in a another way.

The decision deals with the interaction between competition laws and provisions in the Fisheries Management Act. Attention is drawn to the fact that control is not defined in the same way in the two laws. It is the task of the Fisheries Agency to follow up on compliance with the provisions of the Fisheries Management Act.

ICA had a meeting with the Fisheries Agency and discussed the indications of possible control of Samherji and related companies of Síldarvinnslan. ICA will provide more information to the Fisheries Agency, if deemed necessary.