The Düsseldorf Court of Appeals annuls the decision by the German Federal Cartel Office which prohibited a petrol distributor acquiring 59 petrol stations (Total / OMV)

I. Introduction On August 4, 2010, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals (the Court) annulled the decision by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) which prohibited Total Deutschland GmbH (Total) acquiring 59 petrol stations from OMV Deutschland GmbH (OMV) [1]. This judgment is a setback for the FCO, not only in relation to the decision itself, but also in view of its conducted sector inquiry - the FCO considered this prohibition only «a first consequence» of the inquiry [2]. Yet, the Court of Appeals seemingly raised the standards the FCO has to meet if it intends to challenge a transaction based on concerns of collective dominance. The judgment should facilitate acquisitions, in particular in industries that are characterized by general market conditions «disadvantageous» to competition.

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  • Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)

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Tobias Caspary, The Düsseldorf Court of Appeals annuls the decision by the German Federal Cartel Office which prohibited a petrol distributor acquiring 59 petrol stations (Total / OMV), 4 August 2010, e-Competitions Bulletin Energy & Mergers, Art. N° 33236

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