Brussels, 24th July 2007
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by Eni of Italy of Esso Hungaria, Esso Ceska and Esso Slovensko together with certain assets and contracts of ExxonMobil relating to the lubricants business in these countries ("Lubs Assets and Contracts"). The Commission’s investigation has found that the proposed transaction would not impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Eni is active worldwide in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation and marketing of oil and gas.
Esso Hungaria, Esso Ceska and Esso Slovensko are present in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively mainly at the motor fuel retail level. Esso Ceska and Esso Slovensko are also present in the supply of jet fuel, in Prague and Bratislava airports. Lubs Assets and Contracts consists of certain commercial assets and customer contracts belonging to ExxonMobil and engaged, inter alia, in the marketing and sale of branded and unbranded lubricants and specialties in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
The Commission found that due to limited horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities in all product markets concerned (retail of motor fuel, and sale of automotive and industrial lubricants), the proposed concentration would not give rise to any competition concerns in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
As regards possible vertical competition concerns, although Eni is active at
the upstream wholesale level in the Czech Republic, it appears highly unlikely
that the merged entity would engage in closing off supply from its competitors
at the downstream retail level.