FCCA opens in-depth investigation into the acquisition between Hankkija and SSO Rauta-Maatalous

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) will further investigate the proposed acquisition of the agricultural business of SSO Rauta-Maatalous Oy by Hankkija Oy.

Hankkija is company belonging to the Danish Agro group, which mainly trade agricultural products and machinery. The SSO Rauta-Maatalous agricultural business consists of cereals and agricultural production supplies in the Salo region. SSO Rauta-Maatalous is part of the Suur-Seudun Osuuskauppa, which operates in eight municipalities in Western Uusimaa and in eastern parts of Southwest Finland.

In the initial investigation, the FCCA paid particular attention to the potential adverse effects of the acquisition on the procurement and resale market of cereals. On the basis of the Agency’s preliminary investigations, the market shares of the parties in the markets concerned may be significantly higher than their estimates. In addition, the combined market shares of the parties are also significant in other markets for the resale of agricultural production supplies.

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

Senior Specialist Pontus Ranta, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3747
Head of Research Mikko Heinonen, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3162

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 first stage lasts a maximum of 23 workdays. If it is clear that the merger will not have any 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 processing phase. 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.

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