Brussels, 14 June 2013
Mergers: Commission clears Honeywell's acquisition of Intermec
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Intermec by Honeywell, both of the United States. Intermec is a manufacturer and supplier of barcode scanners, scanning engines and ruggedised mobile computers (i.e. computers that are specifically designed to operate reliably in harsh usage environments and conditions, such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, etc.)., The Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face several credible competitors in the relevant markets.
The Commission assessed the impact of the transaction on the markets where the parties' activities overlap, in particular the markets for all types of ruggedised mobile computers, barcode scanners and scanning engines - including the possible market segment for so-called "2D" scanning engines in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission's investigation found that on all these markets Honeywell will continue to face competition from a number of credible suppliers following the transaction.
The Commission also assessed the possible vertical relationships between the parties' activities, including in the market for the licensing of voice recognition software for inclusion in devices with voice recognition capabilities. The Commission's investigation found that the transaction would raise no concerns in that respect, given the presence of alternative suppliers of voice recognition software and the fact that Honeywell currently has very limited presence in the downstream market for the supply of voice recognition devices.
As a result, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA.
The transaction was first notified to the Commission on 15 February 2013. The notification was subsequently withdrawn by Honeywell on 13 March 2013 and re-notified to the Commission on 7 May 2013.
Background on companies and products
Honeywell is an advanced technology manufacturing company, supplying customers worldwide with aerospace products and services, automotive products, electronic materials, specialty materials, performance polymers, transportation and power systems, home and building controls, and industrial controls. Through its Automation and Control Solutions division, Honeywell is active in the manufacturing and sale of ruggedised mobile computers, laser and imager scanning engines and barcode scanners, and related services and accessories.
Intermec is a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of barcode scanners, barcode printers, mobile computers, radio-frequencies identification (“RFID”) systems, voice recognition systems, and life cycle services.
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 is available on the Commission's competition website in the public case register under the case number M.6827.