German antitrust authority blocks Edeka's acquisition of Kaiser's

German antitrust authority blocks Edeka's acquisition of Kaiser's

German supermarket chain Edeka plans to acquire hundreds of Kaiser's stores, but that may not be allowed as the German antitrust authority disagrees with the current terms.

Market share would be too large

In November 2014, Edeka announced its plans to acquire 451 Kaiser's and Tengelmann supermarkets, sparking immediate outrage amongst competitors. Rewe immediately threatened to fight the acquisition in front of the court and the German government also opposed the plans.

 

Rewe's main fear is that Edeka would get an overwhelming market share: currently the four largest chains (Edeka, Rewe, Aldi and the Schwarz Gruppe containing Kaufland and Lidl) already control about 85 % of the German market.

 

Edeka has already made several concessions: it would no longer acquire all 451 stores, but only 350 stores, although that does not suffice in the eyes of the antitrust authority. On 7 April, that authority will give its final decision, giving Edeka some time to still come up with additional concessions. If it fails to please the antitrust authority, the deal will be off.

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