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European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Amprion by Molaris and Commerz Real
Brussels, 23 August 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the German electricity transmission system operator Amprion by real estate group Molaris and asset management group Commerz Real, all from Germany. Amprion is currently solely controlled by German RWE which is active in the electricity and natural gas markets.
The Commission examined the transaction's impact on high voltage electricity transmission grid operation, electricity balancing power, electricity generation, electricity wholesale supply and electricity retail supply.
The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise significant competition concerns, as there will be only negligible changes on any of the markets affected vertically and horizontally.
The acquisition was notified to the Commission on 15 July this year.
Companies and products
Amprion is an electricity transmission systems operator covering the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as parts of the states of Hessen and Bavaria. Amprion is not present in the electricity generation market.
Molaris is a German real estate management group.
Commerz Real is a German asset management group and a subsidiary of Commerzbank.
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 Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). Its duty is to prevent acquisitions that would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (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).
EU merger clearance does not prejudge the result of other possible probes under State aid or antitrust rules.
More information on the case will be available at:
Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)