Brussels, 28 June 2010
Mergers: Commission refers Lidl's proposed acquisition of the Tengelmann supermarket chains in Bulgaria and Romania to national competition authorities
The European Commission has referred the assessment of the acquisition of Plus Bulgaria and Plus Romania by the German retailer Lidl to the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Romania, at their request. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction would affect competition in the Bulgarian and Romanian local markets for daily consumer goods. These markets will now be examined by the Bulgarian and Romanian competition authorities under national law.
The Commission has referred to the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Romania the assessment of, respectively, the acquisition of Plus Bulgaria and Plus Romania by Lidl. Plus Romania and Plus Bulgaria are daily consumer goods retailers. Lidl is buying them from German retail group Tengelmann. Lidl itself is a German discount chain that belongs to the Schwarz group, a German retailer operating more than 9,000 stores in 23 countries in Europe, including in Romania and Bulgaria.
Bulgaria and Romania requested the Commission to refer the parts of the concentration concerning the Bulgarian and Romanian markets to their respective competition authorities, arguing that the transaction affects competition in their domestic markets.
The Commission’s preliminary investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction would affect competition in several local markets for daily consumer goods in Bulgaria and Romania. It believes that the Bulgarian and Romanian competition authorities are well placed to investigate the effect of the transaction on their respective local markets. The deal posed no competition problems in any other EU countries. The transaction was notified to the Commission on 5 May 2010. More information on the case will be available at: