On 15 August 2022, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) initiated further proceedings regarding the proposed merger in which Helen Oy and LämpöYkkönen Oy will establish a joint venture.
In July, the energy company Helen and LämpöYkkönen that specialises in heat pumps, announced that they would establish a joint venture through which the companies will offer geothermal and heat pump solutions in Finland.
Based on the FCCA’s initial investigation, the merger may have adverse competition effects on the heat pump market. Helen has a monopoly position in the production and sale of district heating in the area of their district heating network. The statements received from market operators raised concerns that Helen could use its monopoly position to hinder the operation of other heat pump companies, as installing heat pump systems alongside district heating requires Helen’s approval and cooperation with Helen.
The FCCA considers it important to continue investigating the competition effects 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 FCCA’s decision contains some confidential business secrets of the parties. The decision cannot therefore be made public until after the business secrets have been removed.