Brussels, 27 May 2010
Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of joint control over ASK by ERSTE BANK and AVS
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the savings bank Allgemeine Sparkasse Oberösterreich Bank Aktiengesellschaft (ASK) by Erste Bank and Anteilsverwaltung Allgemeine Sparkasse ("AVS"), all of Austria. 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.
Erste Bank is an Austrian savings bank mainly active in retail and corporate banking. ASK is a regional savings bank in Upper Austria with activities in retail banking and corporate banking for small and medium sized companies.
The transaction is part of the restructuring of the Austrian savings bank sector. It is the last of a series of transactions in which Erste Bank as the central institute for the savings banks sector acquired control over more than 40 regional savings banks.
The previous transactions were notified to the Austrian competition authority as they did not reach the turnover thresholds of the EU Merger Regulation, except for Steiermärkische Sparkasse, which was referred from the Commission to the Austrian competition authority for examination on the request of the parties.
The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Erste Bank and ASK in retail and corporate banking are limited and that, for all products and services concerned, the merged entity will continue to face effective competition.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 19 April 2010.
More information on the case will be available at: