Brussels, 30 October 2009
Mergers: Commission refers examination of the planned acquisition of Keolis and EFFIA by SNCF and CDPQ to France’s Competition Authority
In response to a request by France's Competition Authority under the Merger Regulation, the European Commission has decided to refer to that authority the matter of examining the acquisition of joint control of the French companies Keolis et EFFIA by France’s Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français (SNCF) and the Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Québec (CDPQ) of Quebec, Canada. The Commission has taken this decision to refer the matter to the Competition Authority because a merger would be in danger of appreciably affecting competition in the public passenger transport markets solely in France.
The operation would consist in the joint acquisition of control by SNCF and CDPQ of Keolis, which specialises in public passenger transport by bus and coach, and EFFIA, currently an SNCF subsidiary specialising in services connected with public passenger transport.
SNCF operates passenger rail transport services on France’s rail network, as well as other rail transport services, including international services. It also manages the infrastructure of the French rail network ('Réseau Ferré').
CDPQ is an institutional fund manager, which basically administers the pension and insurance scheme funds of public and private bodies, mainly in Quebec.
In its request for referral of 8 October 2009, the French Competition Authority stated that the proposed operation would be in danger of significantly affecting competition in the French public passenger transport markets through potential conglomerate effects, that is to say anti-competitive effects connected with the presence of the new group throughout the whole transport chain. Moreover, the markets in France in which competition would be affected by the operation are national or regional in scope.
Following an inquiry conducted among customers and competitors of the companies concerned, the Commission has acceded to France’s request.