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The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of StarBev Holdings S.à r.l., registered in Luxembourg and headquartered in the Czech Republic, by the US based Molson Coors Brewing Company, both active in the brewing and distribution of beer. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed operation did not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
The Commission in particular examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition on the production and distribution of beer in the UK, which is the only market where the companies' activities overlap in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Given the small market share increase resulting from the transaction, the relatively low combined market shares of the parties and the presence of a number of credible competitors, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 02 May 2012.
Companies and products
Molson Coors is active world-wide in the brewing, sale, marketing and distribution of beer. Its operations are primarily located in the US, Canada and the UK.
StarBev is active in the brewing and distribution of beer primarily in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Merger control rules and procedures
The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).
A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:
06 June 2012
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