FCCA opens in-depth investigation into the proposed merger of Loomis and Automatia

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has initiated further proceedings regarding the proposed merger in which Loomis AB would acquire Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy from the banking companies Osuuspankki, Danske Bank and Nordea.

Loomis is a Swedish public limited company whose Finnish operations include the provision of valuables transport and money processing services as well as comprehensive service solutions for operators in various sectors, especially for the banking and retail sectors. Automatia is a company owned by OP, Danske Bank and Nordea with equal shares. The company has a centralised responsibility for the cash management services of Finnish banks and the related infrastructure which it meets by, for example, providing the Otto ATM network.

In the initial investigation, the FCCA paid particular attention to the possible adverse effects of the acquisition on the valuables transport and money processing services market which is already highly centralised. Automatia plays a key role in the provision of cash management services in Finland. As a result of the acquisition, other companies providing various money processing and cash management services could lose access to Automatia’s essential systems which could, according to the FCCA’s preliminary observations, have adverse impacts on competition.

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.

More information:
Aapo Aaltio, Economist, tel. +358 29 505 3003
Mikko Heinonen, Head of Research, tel. +358 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.