Brussels, 20 July 2010
Mergers: Commission approves SAP's acquisition of Sybase
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Sybase, Inc. of the US by SAP AG of Germany. Both companies are active in the databases, middleware and enterprise application software ("EAS") sectors. 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.
SAP is the leading supplier of EAS solutions worldwide and is mainly active in this market, while Sybase is a software vendor focusing on databases, middleware and mobile enterprise solutions.
The parties' activities overlap to a minor extent in the fields of (a) databases, where SAP sells its solution as part of a suite only and not on an independent basis; (b) data warehousing tools and (c) mobile middleware, that is infrastructure software used to enable the mobile use of enterprises application software with a variety of mobile devices, where SAP has however a limited presence.
The Commission's investigation confirmed that horizontal anti-competitive effects are unlikely to occur in any of the relevant markets, notably in the absence of significant overlaps. In addition, the merged entity will continue to face strong competition from numerous players in all relevant markets.
The Commission also investigated possible non-horizontal and conglomerate effects stemming from SAP's strong presence in certain EAS segments. In particular, the investigation examined whether the merged entity would have the ability and incentive to restrict customers' ability to use other vendors' database or mobile middleware products. The investigation did not reveal any concerns, in particular because the merged entity will not control a "must have" product for which there would be no alternative and because of the strong competitive constraints exercised by other EAS vendors.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 16 June 2010. More information on the case is available at: