LEGAL PRACTICE: MERGERS - SOLE CONTROL - CLEARANCE - COMMITMENTS - REEXAMINATION

Agripole/Cofigeo merger – what if we discussed the substance?

The analysis of the acquisition of Agripole by Cofigeo, subsequent to an in-depth examination, enabled the French competition authority (FCA) to detail its methodology on issues frequently arising in mergers involving consumer goods manufacturers. The FCA focused on the structuring role of trademarks, both as a differentiating characteristic from the consumer point of view and an asset structuring the provider strategic decisions. It also assessed the bargaining power of mass distribution operators, in cases when a merger makes all credible alternatives to the new company disappear. Lastly, this decision offered the FCA the opportunity to refine its practice and methodology to assess the admissibility of the failing firm defence.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. On 14 June 2018, the French Competition Authority authorised Cofigeo's acquisition of Agripole [1]'s "ambient ready meals" division, subject to the sale of a brand and a production site. In the absence of sufficient commitments offered by the notifying party to meet the competition concerns identified by the Authority, the Authority enjoined the notifying party to proceed with these divestments. 2. Following notification of the decision to the notifying party, the Minister of the Economy announced his intention to make use of his power of evocation, pursuant to the provisions of Article L. 430-7-1 of the French Commercial Code. On 19 July 2018,

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Authors

  • French Competition Authority (Paris)
  • French Competition Authority (Paris)

Quotation

Aulne Abeille, Sara Darley-Reygner, Agripole/Cofigeo merger – what if we discussed the substance?, September 2019, Concurrences N° 3-2019, Art. N° 91123, www.concurrences.com

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