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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of satellite communication services company Vizada by Astrium, a subsidiary of EADS

Brussels, 30 November 2011 - The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mobsat Holding SàRL, the holding company of the Vizada Group of Luxembourg, by Astrium Holding SAS of France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition problems, because it will only lead to a very limited increase in market shares and the merged entity will continue to face a sufficient number of competitors in all markets concerned.

The Commission examined the impact of the proposed transaction on the wholesale and retail markets for mobile and fixed commercial two-way satellite communication ("Comsatcom") services by land, air or sea as well as on the market for the manufacture and supply of Comsatcom equipment. Comsatcom services allow end-to-end exchanges of voice and data between several connected terminals which can be fixed or mobile.

The Commission found that the proposed transaction would only give rise to very limited horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the parties' activities in all relevant market segments and that, post transaction, the merged entity will continue to face competition from a number of players. The Commission also concluded that the combination of the activities of the EADS group, to which Atrium belongs, and Vizada will not give EADS the possibility or incentive to shut out competitors in the Comsatcom sector. The bundling of the various products of the merged entities could indeed not be implemented given the existing market dynamics.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA1) or any substantial part of it.

Astrium provides space technologies products and services on a worldwide basis. Vizada is a worldwide provider of satellite-based mobility communication services.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 26 October 2011.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation ) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

Contacts :

Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

1 :

The EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

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