CCA approves PIPELIFE/VARGON merger

Based on the data from the received notification the concentration in question will produce effects in the production of plastic pipes and fittings and the wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, in certain territories within the EU (Republic of Slovenia and the northern part of Italy) and the neighbouring counties of Croatia outside EU.

In the case concerned, based on the notification of the proposed merger, the Austrian Pipelife acquires direct control on a permanent basis over the undertaking Vargon. These undertakings do not operate on the same product market, since the undertaking Pipelife does not have production facilities in the defined relevant market for the production of pipes and fittings, while there will be a horizontal overlap in the wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings, given that both companies are present on that market.

Therefore, the concentration in question will primarily produce effects in the overlapping horizontal wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings.

Based on the complete notification of concentration, the defined structure of the relevant market, the post-merger market share of the parties to the concentration, expected effects of the concentration in the form of benefits for the consumers, as well as other data and findings, the CCA found that it can be reasonably presumed that this concrete concentration will not produce any anticompetitive effects. Namely, the assessment indicated a fragmented market with a number of undertakings engaged in the production and sales, a number of them engaged in imports from the neighbouring countries, a wide range of customers and distributors and a variety of plastic or non-plastic substitute products, the post-merger period is likely to ensure significant competitive constraints both in the production and in the wholesale market and consequently, this is expected not to have significant effects on end users.

After the CCA received the complete notification of concentration it published on its official website the request for information from all interested parties with the view to receiving further written comments and explanations with respect to the concentration at issue. No replies to this request for information were submitted to the CCA within the prescribed deadline.

Taking everything into account, the notified concentration was cleared in the first phase.