Blog: Edeka's bid to buy local retail rival Kaiser's blocked
Dean Best | 2 April 2015
Germany's competition watchdog has thwarted a move from local retail giant Edeka to acquire supermarket chain Kaiser's from Tengelmann.
The Bundeskartellamt said Edeka's bid to buy the 450 Kaiser's outlets would have led to a "significant deterioration of competition" in "many already highly-concentrated markets and neighbourhoods". The regulator had concerns about competition in Greater Berlin, Munich and Upper Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The anti-trust body also said branded manufacturers would lose "a significant independent customer" if the deal, announced by the retailers in October, was allowed.
Last month, in a preliminary assessment, the Bundeskartellamt warned the takeover would hit competition and suppliers. It said remedies put forward by the retailers failed to assuage those concerns.
Edeka said it saw the news "with great amazement and disappointment".
It added: "We will now carefully scrutinise the line of reasoning of the Federal Cartel Office and decide on the further course of action. Unfortunately, the decision of theoffice leads to great and notably avoidable uncertainties among the 16.000 employees of Kaisers’s Tengelmann. To them the decision will spoil a secure future within the cooperatively organised Edeka Group, which is driven by about 4,000 independent retailers."
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