9 September 2013

OFT unconditionally clears Costcutter / Palmer & Harvey merger

On 5 September 2013, the OFT published its decision to approve Costcutter’s acquisition of the symbol group business of Palmer & Harvey without commitments. The OFT assessed the potential for competitive harm to arise through unilateral effects in the supply of symbol group services but evidence submitted by the parties, including an analysis of switching data, led the OFT to dismiss those concerns. The OFT also raised concerns as regards the impact of the transaction on local retail competition. However, after a detailed assessment of local competition at retail level throughout the UK, the OFT concluded that there was no realistic prospect of an SLC. RBB Economics advised both parties during the course of the investigation, working alongside Simmons & Simmons and Hill Dickinson.The OFT’s decision can be found here.

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