Commenting on the decision, Mr. Monti, the Commissioner responsible for competition policy,made the following statement. "Today's decision to clear the merger between Volvo and RVIconcludes in a satisfactory manner a process that for the Commission started almost a year agowith the notification of the Volvo/Scania deal". He added: "We can now see the final results of theCommission's prohibition decision. Since then not only Volvo has teamed up successfully withRVI. Also Scania has found an alternative strategic partner in Volkswagen, which was not previously active in the production of heavy trucks and buses. These transactions will hopefullycontribute to the development of a more competitive situation in the European markets for heavyvehicles."
2. Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Reebok by adidas
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed € 3.1billion acquisition of US based Reebok International Ltd (“Reebok”) by adidas-Salomon AG (“adidas”) of Germany. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
Reebok and adidas are global players active in the supply of sports and leisure footwear, clothingand equipment. The merger will create one of the leading groups in the European and worldmarkets. The Commission’s investigation focused on the market for athletic footwear in Europe,where both adidas and Reebok are strong players. The investigation showed that there arehorizontal overlaps between the activities of adidas and Reebok.However, the market investigation revealed that adidas and Reebok have slightly different brandand pricing positions. adidas is perceived as a professional, technically oriented brand with strongEuropean roots. Reebok predominantly targets young people and women, is more a “leisure” brand and has a stronger presence in American sports that are not excessively popular in Europe.Partly due to its different heritage, Reebok’s image on the European markets is weaker than thoseof adidas or the worldwide leader Nike. Also in terms of pricing, adidas is positioned in themedium to high price points, while Reebok is stronger in the low to medium price points.In those sport shoes categories and price points where both adidas and Reebok are strongest, i.e.medium price points in tennis, basket-ball and workout shoes, the Commission did not find anyevidence that the merged entity would be able to increase prices. This is due to the intensecompetition coming from several players with significant market shares and strong brands.In an unrelated case, on 12
October.2005 the Commission approved, subject to conditions, thesale of adidas’ Salomon business segment to the Amer Sports Corporation
3. Mergers: Commission clears planned acquisition of control over Eurowings byLufthansa, subject to conditions
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of control by German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG over the German airline Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG and its subsidiary, the low cost airline Germanwings. TheCommission's clearance is conditional upon the parties surrendering slots at Vienna and Stuttgart airports and other concessions. In light of these commitments, the Commission hasconcluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.