17 October 2008

‘3-to-2’ beer merger cleared unconditionally in Ireland

On 3 October, following a Phase II investigation, the Irish Competition Authority cleared unconditionally Heineken’s acquisition of rival brewer Beamish & Crawford.The transaction reduced the number of national brewers operating in the Republic of Ireland from three to two. However, the ICA dismissed concerns that the proposed transaction might give rise to coordinated effects or unilateral effects, including concerns that it would eliminate a possible maverick firm. The ICA’s review followed a decision by the European Commission to refer the Irish part of Case No. COMP/M.4999, Heineken/Scottish & Newcastle to the Competition Authority under Article 9 of the European Merger Regulation.RBB Economics advised Heineken throughout the EC’s and Irish procedures, alongside lawyers Allen & Overy and A&L Goodbody, and Dr Francis O’Toole from Trinity College Dublin.

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