Mergers in public procurement procedures: The French experience

The French Competition Authority recently issued several decisions concerning mergers in bidding markets. In two recent matters (Veolia/Transdev and GDF Suez/Ne Varietur), the Authority conditionally cleared mergers between firms accounting for a large proposition of the supply-side of markets where suppliers bid for business in public procurement procedures. In both cases, the Authority found that the proposed mergers significantly lessened competition because the merging firms were close competitors and because of important asymmetries created or reinforced by the mergers between the main suppliers and fringe competitors. That finding was the result of a specific type of analysis used to examine mergers in bidding markets and developed in case law over the past twenty years. In sum, French experience with mergers in bidding markets shows that the type of review used in those cases is particularly apt to detect anticompetitive effects even when the proposed transactions do not raise dominance concerns.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. Tendering contracts are subject to a particular competitive dynamic. On these markets, the comparison of supply and demand takes place in the context of tendering procedures whereby applicants (public authorities or private [1]companies) select the candidate to whom they award a contract. By organising a call for tenders, a client uses a specific procedure, similar to an auction, the aim of which is to select the bidder who best values the subject of the contract (the "highest bidder" or the "lowest bidder" depending on the subject of the procedure). Because of this selection method, and unlike an "ordinary" transaction, bidders interact at the time of

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  • DG COMP (Brussels)
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Simon Genevaz, Charles Bertin, Mergers in public procurement procedures: The French experience, September 2011, Concurrences N° 3-2011, Art. N° 36897, pp. 70-81

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