Brussels, 12 August 2010
Mergers: Commission approves part of the merger between Veolia and Transdev, and refers examination of the merger’s impact in France and the Netherlands to the respective national competition authorities
Under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has referred the part of the proposed acquisiti5on that relates to the activities of Veolia Transport and Transdev in France and the Netherlands respectively to the French and Dutch competition authorities, at their request. Following a preliminary examination, the Commission found that the transaction would lead to substantial overlap of the companies’ activities, particularly on the public passenger transport markets in France and the Netherlands. These aspects will therefore be examined by the French and Dutch competition authorities on the basis of their national competition law. At the same time, the Commission has approved the proposed merger of Veolia Transport’s and Transdev’s activities in territories outside France and the Netherlands. In particular, the Commission found that the merger between the two companies’ activities in scheduled international passenger transport by coach would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).
On 25 June 2010, the Commission received notification of a proposed concentration whereby the French companies Veolia Environnement and la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (‘CDC’) would merge their transport subsidiaries (Veolia Transport and Transdev respectively) to create a new entity, Veolia Transdev. Following this transaction, Veolia Environnement and CDC would acquire joint control of Veolia Transdev.
Veolia Transport provides public passenger transport services and delegated international management of local, regional and national transport networks involving all types of vehicles (bus, train, underground train, tram, etc.).
Transdev is an urban and interurban public transport operator of trains, trams, underground trains, buses, coaches, trolley buses, river shuttles, car sharing schemes and public bicycles, mainly in Europe.
France and the Netherlands have asked the Commission to refer those parts of the merger affecting their national markets to their respective national competition authorities because the transaction may significantly hinder competition on markets within their territories that have the features of distinct markets.
The Commission’s preliminary investigation confirmed that the proposed merger would lead to substantial overlap of activities on public passenger transport markets in France and the Netherlands. The Commission found that many other stakeholders, customers) were fearful that the concentration could affect competition on national and/or local markets in the two countries. Their fears relate to the overlap of the companies’ activities on the various public transport markets in France (urban and interurban public transport and transport in the Ile-de-France region) and the Netherlands (liberalised public transport market and market for licensed taxis).
The Commission believes that the French and Dutch competition authorities are best placed to examine the impact of the merger on their respective national markets and has therefore referred the case to them for an assessment of the French and Dutch parts of the transaction.}
In addition, as regards the EEA component of the merger, excluding France and the Netherlands, the Commission has concluded that, particularly with regard to scheduled international passenger transport by coach, there are no competition concerns since there will be a significant number of suppliers on those markets after the merger.
The Commission’s decisions in this case are without prejudice to any possible infringement of EU state aid rules.
More information on the case will be available at: