COMPETITION COUNCIL PROHIBITS MERGER BETWEEN MALT PRODUCERS
On 15 October, Competition Council (further - the Council) prohibited acquisition of 100 per cent of Maltosa shares by Viking Malt Oy. The Council found that the merger will restrict competition in the market of pilsen malt production.
Viking Malt Oy and Maltosa are the only producers and distributors of pilsen malt in Lithuania. Currently the companies are actively competing for the price of pilsen malt sold to Lithuanian breweries. According to the Council, the merger would eliminate effective competition, therefore, the prices of pilsen malt could rise. Higher expenses of Lithuanian breweries could result in higher beer prices for consumers.
The number of mergers has been rising during the past two years. Last year only, the Council assessed about 200 mergers and cleared 98 percent of them. Our goal is a competitive market and greater benefits for consumers. We carefully assessed the merger and refused clearance because we are certain that the merger would restrict competition. Hence, the prices of pilsen malt could rise.
Elonas Šatas, Deputy Chairman of the Council.
The Council also took into consideration the obligations offered by Viking Malt. The authority decided that the obligations would not eliminated negative consequences arising from the merger and would not ensure effective competition in the market of pilsen malt production and distribution.