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Illegal merger: AFCA files application to impose a fine of EUR 85,000 on Oras Invest

On 17 July 2023 the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) filed an application for the imposition of a fine of EUR 85,000 on Oras Invest Oy (Finland) on the grounds of an illegal merger.

The merger had been notified to the AFCA retroactively (Z-6224). The acquisition by Oras Invest of more than 25% of all (voting) shares in Uponor Oyj (Finland) with effect from 13 April 2023 was cleared since it raised no merger control concerns.

Oras Invest is a holding company specialised in holdings in industrial companies. The target company is engaged in water, heating and cooling, as well as infrastructure solutions, mainly in Europe and North America.

Oras Invest cooperated with the AFCA, and acknowledged the infringement to bring the proceedings to an amicable conclusion.

Illegal mergers

Illegal mergers are mergers subject to notification obligations that are implemented without approval or in a manner that deviates from the approved transaction. The Cartel Court may impose fines for illegal mergers at the request of the AFCA. The total amount of fines imposed in Austria for illegal mergers is about EUR 14 million.