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Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms prohibition of EDEKA/Kaiser's Tengelmann merger

Date of issue: 24.08.2017

Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court rejected appeals filed by EDEKA and Kaiser´s Tengelmann against the Bundeskartellamt's prohibition of the merger between the super market chains (see Bundeskartellamt press release of 1 April 2015).

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "We prohibited the merger after conducting an extensive analysis of the conditions of competition in the food retail sector. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has fully confirmed the outcome of our decision. Alone the conclusion that the merger would have led to a dominant position of EDEKA and Kaiser's Tengelmann at least in Berlin was enough for the court to come to its decision. Our extensive explanatory statements about other sales and procurement markets did not require examination by the court's antitrust division."

The Bundeskartellamt's prohibition decision had become moot after the Economics Minister allowed the merger, subject to conditions, on the public interest grounds of "job preservation and job security" as well as "maintenance of workers' rights" and after the parties had implemented the acquisition of the Kaiser's und Tengelmann outlets. However, both EDEKA and Kaiser's Tengelmann had maintained their appeals in order to have the authority's prohibition decision declared illegal. Firstly, they wanted to prevent the decision from becoming a precedent for the future. Secondly, they indicated that if the decision were revoked, they would consider claiming damages against the Bundeskartellamt.

Press release (pdf)

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