Brussels, 22 June 2012
Mergers: Commission refers Spanish aviation fuel joint venture to the Spanish competition authority
Acting under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has referred to the Spanish competition authority the proposed acquisition of joint control over Shell Aviation España S.L. (SAE) of Spain by Disa Corporación Petrolífera S.A. (Disa) of Spain and Shell. SAE is currently solely controlled by Shell. After a preliminary assessment, the Commission concluded that the proposed concentration would only affect certain Spanish markets and that the Spanish competition authority would therefore be best placed to examine it.
On 22 May 2012 the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC), the Spanish Competition Authority, requested the Commission to refer to it the assessment of the proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in SAE by Disa. The CNC put forward various competition concerns in markets related to the provision of into-plane services in the Canary Islands, such as the markets for logistic services and the storage of petroleum products. According to the CNC, the existing and potential competitors of SAE and Disa could potentially be shut off from access to Disa's storage facilities and logistic services as a result of the transaction. Moreover, the CNC pointed out that the transaction could lead to coordinated effects in the fuel markets in the Canary Islands.
Based on the information in its possession, the Commission found that the proposed transaction would only affect the Spanish markets for the supply of aviation fuels and into-plane services, as well as storage and logistic services of petroleum products. The Commission therefore concluded that Spain was best placed to assess the impact of the merger on these markets. Consequently, the CNC will examine whether the operation complies with Spanish merger control law and the Commission has closed its case.
A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:
Companies and products
Shell is mainly active in exploration, production and sale of oil and natural gas, as well as in production and sale of oil products, chemicals, and production of energy from renewable sources.
Disa is mainly active in the oil industry in Spain. Its activities encompass sale, storage and transport logistic services of petroleum products (including aviation fuels) within Canary Islands, as well as industrial services and construction.
SAE is active in the market for into-plane services in a number of airports in Spain, including the airport of Las Palmas, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife North and Tenerife South.
According to Article 9(2)(a) of the EU Merger Regulation, the Commission may refer a transaction notified to it to the competent national competition authority (NCA), when a Member State requests such a referral because a transaction would threaten to significantly affect competition in a market within that Member State and that market presents all the characteristics of a distinct market.