FCCA opens in-depth investigation into MB Funds’ proposed acquisition of A-katsastus Group

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has initiated further proceedings regarding the proposed merger in which MB Equity Fund V Ky would acquire the entire stock of the A-Katsastus Group.

MB Equity Fund V Ky is part of MB Funds Group, which is a Finnish private equity investment firm. The portfolio of MB Funds includes Protacon Oy, a company that developed the Muster software used in vehicle inspections. A-Katsastus provides vehicle inspection services and registrations, arranges driving tests, performs vehicle damage inspections and provides vehicle damage repair, maintenance and spare part services in addition to the provision of testing, repair shop equipment and maintenance services.

In the initial investigation, FCCA has paid special attention to the vertical competition concerns on the vehicle inspection market. The Muster software commonly used by inspection companies may be in such a position that the concentration resulting from the merger may weaken the opportunities to effectively compete with A-katsastus in the market of inspection services. Thereby, the merger may have an adverse effect on the end-user, for example, in the form of ricing consumer prices.

The FCCA considers it important to continue investigating the competition impacts of the merger. The further proceedings will examine whether the merger may significantly impede effective competition in the Finnish market or a substantial part thereof. As a result, FCCA may approve the merger as such, approve it conditionally, or propose that the Market Court prohibit the deal. The further proceedings may take a maximum of 69 working days. The Market Court may extend the deadline for the further proceedings by at most 46 working days.

The decision by FCCA contains confidential business information of the parties. The decision cannot therefore be made public until after the business secrets have been removed.

Further information:

Specialist Anna Joutsi, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3024
Head of Research Mikko Heinonen, tel. +358 29 505 3162, forename.surname@kkv.fi

According to the Competition Act, a merger must be reported to the FCCA if the combined turnover of the parties to the concentration exceeds 350 million euros and the turnover of at least two of the parties resulting from Finland exceeds 20 million euros for both. The FCCA approves the merger provided that it will not result in any of the negative impacts mentioned in the Competition Act. The FCCA will intervene in the merger if its investigation indicates that the merger would significantly impede effective competition on the Finnish market or a substantial part thereof, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position. If required, the processing of the merger notification is carried out in two phases. The maximum duration of the first phase of processing of mergers for which notification was given on 17 June 2019 or later is 23 workdays. If it is clear that the merger will not have negative effects on competition or if the negative effects can be prevented through the conditions proposed by the parties involved, the merger is approved after this initial phase of processing. If this is not the case, the FCCA makes the decision to submit the matter for further investigation in which the merger and its competition effects are comprehensively examined.

Further information about merger control.