8 May 2006

UK bookstore merger cleared

On 12 May 2006, the UK Competition Commission formally cleared the proposed acquisition of Ottakar's bookshops by HMV/Waterstone's. The CC accepted the parties’ arguments that the merger was unlikely to result in a reduced range of books being sold or in a deterioration in service quality. Concerns regarding higher prices were limited by intense competition from supermarket and internet retailers. The Commission was also satisfied that the merger would not give rise to harmful effects in the procurement market for new books.RBB advised HMV Group during both the OFT and Competition Commission stages of the merger process, working closely with Simmons & Simmons throughout.

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