The Finnish Market Court extends due to COVID-19 the time limit for in-depth investigation of a merger between 2 financial services companies (Loomis / Automatia)

The time limit for processing the merger of Loomis and Automatia has been extended until 23 September 2020*

The Market Court has extended the processing time limit for the merger between Loomis AB and Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy, currently under investigation by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), until 23 September 2020. The FCCA applied to the Market Court for additional time to allow the parties to the merger to be given sufficient time to be heard.

On 14 May 2020, the FCCA launched a further investigation into a merger in which Loomis, a provider of valuables transport and money processing services, would acquire Automatia, the company maintaining Otto ATMs, from OP, Danske Bank and Nordea. On the basis of a preliminary assessment conducted by the Agency, the merger might have adverse effects on the already concentrated market for cash management services. The time limit for further investigation under the Competition Act would have expired on 21 August 2020.

On 12 August 2020, the FCCA applied to the Market Court for an extension of the processing time limit until 23 September 2020 in order to enable the parties to the merger to have sufficient time to be heard and to respond appropriately to the investigations by the Agency. In order to investigate the competitive effects of the merger, the FCCA has carried out extensive studies on the market for valuables transport and money processing services and the total cash management services of banks. The implementation of the investigations has been significantly slowed down and hampered by the exceptional circumstances caused by the corona crisis.

The party that had announced the merger did not oppose to the extension of the time limit, and the Market Court approved the FCCA’s application on 13 August 2020.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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Finnish Competition Authority, The Finnish Market Court extends due to COVID-19 the time limit for in-depth investigation of a merger between 2 financial services companies (Loomis / Automatia), 14 August 2020, e-Competitions September 2020, Art. N° 96530

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