First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
The European Commission (EC) has approved the proposed acquisition of Abertis by toll road and infrastructure management company Atlantia after concluding that the merger would not endanger competition in any of the markets concerned. The decision has been reached through an investigation into the proposed transaction and has been cleared by the EC under the EU Merger Regulation.
EC examined the impact of the transaction on the markets where activities between the two companies overlap in the management of toll motorway concessions; the provision of electronic toll services and; the provision of equipment and services for intelligent transport systems.
The EC also found the transaction raised no competition concerns on these markets due to the presence of other significant competitors, the limited geographic overlaps between both companies’ motorway networks and that the market for toll motorway concessions is a highly regulated bidding market.
In addition, the investigation examined the effect of the transaction on related markets such as food services on motorway service areas, as Atlantia’s largest shareholder Edizione is also the majority shareholder of food services provider Autogrill. The EC concluded that the merged entity would not be able to weaken the competition on the market for food services, notably because strong competitors to Autogrill will be able to continue bidding for food service concessions.