CCA clears STUDENAC / LONIA merger

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) cleared in phase I the concentration between the undertakings in the form of the acquisition of a direct controlling interest on the permanent basis over the undertaking Lonia, by the undertaking Studenac. This horizontal merger will produce effects in the groceries retail market of the City of Zagreb, Zagreb County, Sisak-Moslavina County, Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Požega-Slavonia County, Brod-Posavina County, Karlovac County, Varaždin County and Koprivnica-Križevci County, where Studenac will take over the market position of Lonia.

Besides the above-mentioned markets, only the acquiring undertaking – Studenac is present in the groceries retail market in Split-Dalmatia County, Istria County, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Zadar County, Šibenik-Knin County, Lika-Senj County and Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

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 this concentration cannot constitute a prohibited concentration in the sense of Article 16 of the Competition Act.

Final consumers will continue to have a large choice whereas both the incumbent undertakings or any new entrants will be motivated to compete in the relevant market concerned.

After having received the complete notification the CCA published 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 on its website. No replies to this request for information were submitted to the CCA within the prescribed deadline.

Taking everything into account it cannot be assumed that the proposed concentration could produce any anti-competitive effects in the market and it has been cleared in phase I.