Home » News » Detail

Rohrdorfer/Asamer merger: AFCA files request for examination with Cartel Court

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) received notification of the merger on 10 January 2024. Following an application for a two-week extension by the merger applicant, the deadline for completion of the examination was moved to 21 January 2024. In the AFCA's view, the planned merger raises competition concerns and cannot be cleared in its current form. It therefore applied to the Cartel Court for an in-depth review of the merger (Phase II) on 21 February 2024.

According to the merger notification (Z-6472), the applicant Südbayerisches Portland-Zementwerk Gebr. Wiesböck & Co. GmbH (“Rohrdorfer”) intends to acquire 49% of the shares in and thereby joint control of ASAMER Kies- und Betonwerke GmbH (“Asamer”).

The planned merger concerns the industry sector of C - manufacture of ready-mixed concrete.

AFCA investigations and competition concerns

As part of its investigations, the AFCA gathered extensive amounts of data and questioned market participants, among them more than one hundred customers and several competitors. This raised doubts about the market definitions in the areas of ready-mixed concrete, aggregates and cement as given by the applicant. The concerns (horizontal and vertical) related in particular to high market shares held by the merger parties and to a further strengthening of the parties’ market position in the mentioned areas, which could have a negative impact on competition due to, for instance, higher prices.

In conclusion, the AFCA found that the merger could not be cleared in its current form but required an in-depth Phase II review by the Cartel Court. The AFCA has therefore filed a request for examination prior to expiry of the Phase I deadline. The Federal Cartel Prosecutor has also made a request for examination by the Cartel Court.