Brussels, 8 mars 2013
Mergers: Commission approves joint-venture between Allianz SE and VW Financial Services AG
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint-venture between Allianz SE and VW Financial Services AG. Allianz SE (Germany) is an international insurance and financial services provider. VW Financial Services AG (Germany) is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, and offers financial products, such as insurances. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because a number of strong competitors will remain active on the market.
The joint venture will develop, position and market insurance products, such as car damage insurance, third party liability insurance, guaranteed asset protection, warranty insurance for used cars sold on by Volkswagen car dealerships, private passenger motor vehicle insurances and driver insurances. The JV will possess its own licence for offering insurance products and will bear the economic risk of all its operations.
The Commission in particular examined the competitive effects of the proposed joint-venture in the market for car indemnity insurances in Germany, which is the only market where the companies' activities overlap in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Given that the parties would still face competition from a number of credible competitors, the fact that the operation will to a large extent only shift market shares from Allianz to the joint venture and that the parties have a long-standing contractual relationship for the different types of car insurances, for which VW used to act as an agent on behalf of Allianz, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 31 January 2013.
VW Financial Services AG, a fully owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, offers motor vehicle warranty insurances to German end-customers.
Allianz SE is the parent company of a group of companies that offer insurances products and services to customers primarily in Germany, but also worldwide.
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 notified 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 is available here M.6739