The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has initiated further proceedings concerning Avarn Security Holding AS’s acquisition of Prevent 360 Holding Oy.
Avarn Security is part of the Norwegian Sector Alarm Group, which sells alert systems and related services to private and corporate customers. The group also offers security services, such as security guard services, security technology and money handling services, to corporate clients and the public sector. Prevent 360 owns Prevent 360 Turvallisuuspalvelut Oy, which offers security guard services and security systems in Finland.
According to the FCCA’s initial assessment, the acquisition may have adverse impacts on competition especially in the security services market. In the view of the FCCA, it is possible that as a result of the acquisition competition in the security services market will be reduced, especially between companies offering services nationally. The FCCA has concluded that to assess the impacts that the acquisition has on competition, further detailed investigations should be conducted to look into aspects, such as regional and national extent of the market and how well smaller competitors will be able to create competitive pressure for the parties of the acquisition.
In its further investigation, the FCCA will examine whether the planned acquisition significantly impedes effective competition on the Finnish market, or a key segment of the market. The FCCA may approve the acquisition as such, attach conditions to the approval or request that the Finnish Market Court prohibit the acquisition. According to the Competition Act, the further proceedings may not take longer than three months.
The FCCA’s decision includes business secrets of the parties involved. The decision cannot be published until the business secrets have been removed, i.e. in around two weeks’ time.
Senior Research Officer Laura Kauppila, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3335
According to the Competition Act, the FCCA must be notified of the transaction if the combined turnover of the parties to the corporate transaction exceeds 350 million euros and the turnover from Finland of at least two of the parties exceeds a combined total of 20 million euros. The FCCA will approve a corporate transaction if it has none of the harmful impacts referred to in the Competition Act. The FCCA will intervene in corporate transactions if its investigations suggest that the acquisition substantially impedes effective competition on Finnish markets or a substantial part of the markets, particularly through the creation or reinforcement of a dominant market position. Where necessary, notifications of acquisitions are considered in two stages. The so-called first stage takes a month at most. If the acquisition is clearly not harmful to competition, or if the harmful effects can be prevented by means proposed by the parties to the acquisition, the acquisition is approved during the first stage. If not, the FCCA decides to conduct a further investigation of the matter, during which the acquisition and its competition effects are investigated in further detail.
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