As announced by the Office for Competition on 19 February 2020, the Office for Competition decided to open a phase II investigation on the concentration involving the joint venture between Retail Marketing Limited (as the joint venture entity) and Co-op Trading Company Limited, Polrem Limited, S. Borg & Sons Limited, Tower Supermarkets Complex Limited, Valyou Pendergardens Operations Ltd., Belleview Supermarkets Co. Ltd. and Valyou Supermarket Limited (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the Notifying Parties”). The transaction will see Retail Marketing Limited taking over all supermarket operations currently being conducted by the aforementioned current supermarket operators.
In terms of Regulation 17 of the Control of Concentrations Regulations, the Director General shall publish the decisions which he takes pursuant to to regulation 6(1) and in doing so, regard shall be made to the legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their business secrets.
The Office for Competition is publishing a non-confidential version of its decision dated 13 February 2020 which outlines the reasoning upon which the Director General decided to initiate a phase II investigation. In terms of regulation 17(2) of the Control of Concentrations Regulations, some of the contents of the preliminary decision have been redacted with a view to protect either confidential information and, or business secrets. The decision pertaining to redacted information has been taken after consulting with the notifying parties. The decision can be accessed by clicking here.
Upon the closing of the phase II investigation, the Office for Competition may:
Adopt a non-opposition decision, if it considers that the concentration, as notified, or following modifications by the notifying parties through remedies, is not likely to create significant impediments to effective competition in the relevant markets; or
Adopt a prohibition decision, if it considers that the concentration is likely to create significant impediments to effective competition in the relevant markets.