Brussels, 14 November 2012
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of French trading company CFAO by Toyota Tsusho
The European Commission has cleared under the Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the French trading company CFAO by Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
The proposed acquisition leads to a vertical link in the market for Toyota spare parts. As a result of the proposed acquisition, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, which is the main exporter of Toyota spare parts into French Guiana, will integrate NCCIE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CFAO, which acts as a wholesaler of Toyota spare parts and as one of the two Toyota authorised repairers in French Guiana.
The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would have no material impact on the market, as it would only lead to the vertical integration of Toyota Tsusho Corporation's exclusive importer and wholesale distributor for Toyota spare parts in French Guiana. In addition, the Commission's investigation found that, if the merged entity tried to raise its prices or cut back on supplies of Toyota spare parts to independent repairers, the latter would be able to source Toyota spare parts from other readily available channels in metropolitan France or other neighbouring countries such as Suriname or the Caribbean.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 5 October 2012.
Companies and products
Toyota Tsusho Corporation is a Japanese trading house diversified in various activities, in particular distribution and logistics services for the automotive industry.
CFAO trades vehicles, pharmaceuticals, machinery, consumer goods, technological products and other products principally in Africa and in the French overseas territories.
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).
More information on the case will be available at: