Decision Nº M/03/019 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-07-15

Decision NumberM/03/019
PartiesMarch U.K. Limited,Haléns Holdings AB
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/019 of the Competition Authority, dated 15 July 2003,
under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002
Notification No. M/03/019 – Acquisition by March UK Limited of Haléns
Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries
Introduction
1. On 18 June 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18 of the
Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis, of a
proposal whereby March U.K. Limited (March) would acquire Haléns Holding
AB and its subsidiaries (Haléns), the Swedish home shopping business of GUS
plc. The Authority, in accordance with s 23(1)(b) of the Act, notified the parties
that it considers the transaction to be a media merger.
The Parties
2. March is a UK company ultimately controlled by Sir David Barclay and Sir
Frederick Barclay who also ultimately control Littlewoods Limited (Littlewoods),
a UK non-food retail business with interest in high street stores, catalogue stores,
mail order catalogues and related businesses. Sir David Barclay and Sir
Frederick Barclay also ultimately control the Scotsman Publications Limited, a
Scottish newspaper business and The Business Publishing Limited which
publishes a weekly business newspaper. There are a small amount of sales of
those publications in the State.
3. Haléns is a Swedish based home shopping catalogue business operating in
Sweden, Finland and Estonia. It formed part of the GUS retail group, a UK
group with interests in retail, home shopping and financial services.
Analysis
4. There is no overlap between the parties’ activities within the State. March has
home shopping activities on the island of Ireland, principally in Northern Ireland.
Any sales into the State are insignificant cross-border sales. Haléns does not
operate any home shopping activities within the State.
Determination
The Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 21(2) of the Competition Act,
2002, has determined that, in its opinion, the result of the proposed acquisition will
not be to substantially lessen competition in markets for goods and services in the
State and, accordingly, that the acquisition may be put into effect.
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