Peugeot S.A. (‘PSA') will acquire assets and shareholdings linked to Opel. PSA will thus acquire sole control of the whole of Opel.
The Commission's investigation
Given that PSA and Opel are both active in the manufacture of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles, the Commission looked at the impact of the transaction on the automobile markets at both European and national level.
The Commission also considered the overlapping activities of the two companies in the wholesale and retail sale of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
The Commission's investigation found as follows:
- With regard to the manufacture and sale of motor vehicles, the combined market shares of the two companies are relatively small in all the relevant markets. The companies achieve a combined market share of more than 40% in only two national markets (Estonia and Portugal) for small commercial vehicles, but with an increase of less than 5% in both those markets. In the other affected markets, the market shares remain small. The Commission investigation also showed that the merged entity will still face strong competition from manufacturers such as Renault, Volkswagen, Daimler, Ford, Fiat and various Asian competitors.
- With regard to the wholesale and retail distribution markets, the Commission ruled out the possibility that the transaction might have a detrimental effect because of the different distribution channels used by PSA and Opel and the presence of independent distributors, importers and retailers.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction was unlikely to raise competition concerns in the relevant markets.
Companies and products
Peugeot S.A. makes and sells passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles worldwide under the brand names Peugeot, Citroën and DS.
Opel, currently controlled by General Motors, brings together General Motors' European automobile business under the brand names Opel and Vauxhall. Opel makes and sells passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
Merger control rules and procedures
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 30 May 2017.
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).