Brussels, 26 June 2012
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of computer distributor Altimate by rival Arrow
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Altimate, a French company active in the distribution of software and IT hardware products, by Arrow, a US company also operating in this market. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the limited overlap between the parties' activities and because the merged entity will face sufficient competition.
The proposed transaction would lead to an overlap between the parties' activities in the market for the wholesale distribution of computer and IT products, where both Altimate and Arrow are active. The Commission investigated the transaction's competitive effects in particular on the distribution of data storage products and servers in Portugal and Spain.
The Commission's investigation found that the merged entity would continue to face substantial competition from several well-established, strong and effective competitors in the markets concerned. In addition, the investigation confirmed certain market characteristics that would limit the competitive impact of the transaction. These include substantial intra-brand and inter-brand competition in the markets as well as the presence of customers with sufficient market knowledge to be able to switch between distributors with minimal costs.
The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction does not raise competition concerns.
The operation was notified to the Commission on 21 May 2012.
Companies and products
Arrow is a wholesale distributor of electronic components, servers and data storage products, IT services and solutions in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Altimate, is a wholesale distributor of software and hardware products, including servers and storage products, to resellers and system integrators and is active exclusively in the EEA.
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 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).
A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at: