Brussels, 23 January 2003
Commission clears ENI's acquisition of Norway's Fortum Petroleum
The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Norwegian oil company Fortum Petroleum by Italy's energy company ENI. The acquisition will not significantly alter the current competitive situation in the Italian market or in southern Germany, where ENI is present through GVS.
In December 2002, the Commission was notified of a proposed operation whereby ENI would acquire sole control of Fortum Petroleum AS, a Norwegian petroleum company currently wholly owned by the Finnish group Fortum Oyj. While ENI is a vertically integrated energy company active at all levels of the energy supply and distribution chain, Fortum Petroleum is active only in oil and gas exploration, the production of natural gas from the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the transmission of natural gas.
The proposed operation does not raise any concern in the markets where the companies' activities overlap.
The Commission also concluded that the acquisition would not strengthen ENI's position in the Italian markets for the supply and distribution of natural gas. Similarly it concluded that it would not strengthen the position held by GVS, a German gas distributor jointly by ENI and EnBW, in Baden-Württemberg.
Fortum Petroleum's natural gas production is currently sold under long term contracts, making it very unlikely that ENI or GVS would be able to sell any of its gas in the Italian or German markets. In addition, the additional gas resources provided to ENI by the operation represent a very small proportion of the actual natural gas sales of both ENI in Italy and GVS in Germany. Finally, the Commission also took into consideration new Italian legislation, which requires ENI to reduce its activity on the downstream gas markets. This legislation was introduced in the context of the 1998 European directive on the liberalisation of the gas market.
Therefore, the Commission has come to the conclusion that this concentration will not bring any significant changes to the competitive structure of the markets involved and consequently decided to clear the transaction.