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IP/09/486

Brussels, 26th March 2009

Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Philips branded PC monitors and electronic displays business by TPV

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the branded PC monitor and electronic displays (digital public signage) business of the Dutch company Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.(Philips) by TPV Technology Limited, a manufacturer of monitor displays based in Bermuda. Digital public signage products are electronic displays installed in public spaces, which transmit images for the purpose of entertainment, information or advertising. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

TPV is a solutions provider in monitor display technology. TPV designs and produces a wide range of computer monitors for distribution in Asia, Europe and the US, as well as digital public signage products at original equipment manufacturer (OEM) level.

The business to be acquired (Philips HoldCo), relates to the branding and distribution of computer monitors and digital public signage products.

The proposed transaction would lead to a small overlap in the market for LCD branded PC monitors, where both TPV and Philips HoldCo are active;, however only TPV is active in the production of PC monitors at OEM level or of cathode ray tube monitors. The Commission’s investigation confirmed that the horizontal overlap between the activities of TPV and Philip HoldCo is very limited and that, under all possible alternative market definitions, the merged entity would continue to face several strong, effective competitors after the proposed transaction.

Furthermore, the operation would create two vertical relationships: TPV's activities at the OEM level for both LCD PC monitors and digital public signage displays are upstream to Philips HoldCo's business on the markets for branded PC monitors and branded digital public signage displays.

However, the Commission found, with regard to both vertical relationships, that the merged entity would neither have the ability nor the incentive to restrict access to TPV's OEM products because at OEM level several competitors supply similar products and many competitors for the branded products are, in any case, vertically integrated. The Commission also found that the merged company would be unlikely to engage in a strategy of closing off customers by denying competitors of TPV at the OEM level access to Philips HoldCo's demand for their products, essentially because of Philips HoldCo's limited market presence at the downstream level.

More information on the case will be available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/index/m109.html#m_5455


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