Intesa-Ubi, the Antitrust Authority: “Merger not authorized at present”


The Antitrust Authority believes that the merger between Intesa and Ubi is not at the state of the documents likely to be authorized as it is capable of producing the establishment and / or strengthening of the dominant position of Intesa in numerous markets without the agreement for the sale of a business unit in Bper could be taken into consideration as an intervention aimed at resolving competitive criticisms. what emerges from the communication of the preliminary findings to the parties, viewed by the Ansa. The Antitrust, reads the document, has set the deadline for closing the acquisition phase of the evidence for June 18 and has authorized the parties to present written statements and documents until June 15th. The parties will have the right to be heard before the college, which has set the date of the college hearing in June 18.

At the end of which the procedure will enter the decision-making phase, with respect to which the preliminary results do not preclude any outcome. Once acquired for the non-binding opinion of IVASS, for which there is a maximum term of 30 days, the college must close the procedure within 60 working days from the start of the preliminary investigation, so that a decision expected in the second half of July. In the conclusions of the preliminary findings, the Antitrust Authority notes that the concentration capable of substantially and sustainably reducing competition on a number of markets due to the high market share and level of concentration achieved, accompanied by a significant distance from the second operator of each area and in consideration of Ubi’s disciplinary capacity towards the major banks.

The Antitrust Authority also believes that it cannot be taken in consideration, as an intervention aimed at solving the competitive criticalities of the operation in specific markets and territorial areas, the content of the agreement signed by Intesa and Bper, which provides for the sale to the latter of a package of 400-500 branches. There, writes the Antitrust Authority, for three reasons: firstly because of the substantial indeterminacy of the perimeter of the Ubi company branch, which is the object of transfer in favor of Bper; secondly, for the uncertainties regarding the effective implementation of this agreement if Intesa holds a 50% control plus 1 share of Ubi’s share capital downstream of the public exchange offer; finally, due to the substantial ineffectiveness of this agreement with respect to the critical issues in other areas of the Italian territory, other than the provinces of the north-west, on which the post merger shares of Intesa and Ubi are also of undoubted importance, with specific reference to some CA area, local markets limited to the catchment areas, ed) of the Calabria region and the Marche region, as well as of Abruzzo.

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