Merger control: Commission approves acquisition of Kirchner by Strabag and refers review of local asphalt market to German competition authority

The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Kirchner Holding GmbH (“Kirchner”), of Germany, by Strabag SE (“Strabag”), of Austria. Kirchner is a construction company active mainly in central and eastern Germany, but also in other parts of Germany as well as in Austria and Poland. Its activities include, in particular, road construction, structural engineering and production and processing of raw material such as asphalt mix and broken natural stone for construction. Strabag is a global provider of construction services and building materials. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition will not create or strengthen such a dominant market position that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or in any substantial part thereof. At the same time, the Commission decided to refer the assessment of the impact of the acquisition on the Erfurt regional asphalt market to Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) due to its application for partial referral of the case. According to the Federal Cartel Office, the proposed transaction could raise competition concerns as it could create a dominant market position in the referenced market.

Source: Commission Press Release 16/9/2008

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