European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of transport logistic services company ATIC by ArcelorMittal
Brussels, 02 December 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of ATIC Services Group of France by ArcelorMittal Netherlands BV. Although ATIC has significant market shares in certain areas of the European Union for seaport terminal services for imports of iron ore and coal, key inputs for steel production, the Commission concluded that ArcelorMittal would have neither the ability nor the incentive to prevent its steel competitors from importing iron ore and coal to an extent that would affect competition in the EU.
Some of the largest seaport terminals affected by the transaction are jointly controlled by ATIC and operated at arms-length, independently of their shareholders (EMO-EKOM in Rotterdam and OBA in Amsterdam). The Commission's assessment, therefore, focused on the vertical integration of ATIC's activities with those of ArcelorMittal. The investigation showed that ArcelorMittal is unlikely to exert decisive influence on decisions relating to individual customers of these terminals. The market investigation also confirmed that large steel producers tend to have their own captive terminals in the region or use terminals outside the relevant geographic areas. There are some alternative terminals for smaller steel competitors currently using ATIC's terminals.
In its assessment, the Commission took into consideration that terminal handling costs amount for only a small proportion of the overall steel production costs, and the existence of some spare capacity at the relevant ATIC terminals as well as at competing terminals.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 or any substantial part of it.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 26 October 2011.
ArcelorMittal is a company belonging to the ArcelorMittal Group, which is a globally active steel and mining company.
ATIC provides services along the logistic chain for the import and onward inland transportation of primarily coal and iron ore, and to a more limited extent services for the export of finished steel products from the European Union.
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:
The EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.