Brussels, 25 March 2011
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Siemens IT Services by Atos Origin
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS) of Germany, which is a part of the Siemens group, by French IT service provider Atos Origin. 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.
Both companies are active in information technology ("IT") services. Atos Origin provides various IT services such as the design, building and operation of IT systems, including payment card processing services. SIS provides comprehensive IT services, industry specific IT solutions, IT consulting services and system integration services to Siemens and its affiliates as well as to external customers.
On an overall market for IT professional services in the EEA, the parties have a combined market share of about 5%. The parties are generally not active in the same countries.
The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the combined market shares and the increment stemming from the transaction remain limited for most national IT professional services markets and segments. Furthermore, Atos Origin will continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares as well as potential new competitors from emerging countries. Lastly, customers are to a large extent sophisticated buyers with an important degree of buyer power. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
Merger control rules and procedures
The Commission, in 1989, was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Art 1 of the Merger Regulation). The Commission clears the vast majority of mergers without conditions and only accepts remedies or prohibits mergers when the notified transaction would lead to a significant impediment to competition and make consumers worse off.
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).
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 24 February 2011. More information on the case will be available at: