Decision Nº M/04/048 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-09-13

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
PartiesHachette Livre,Hodder Headline
Date13 September 2004
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
Decision Date13 September 2004
Decision NumberM/04/048
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/04/048 of the Competition Authority, dated 13
Notification No. M/04/048 – The proposed acquisition by Hachette Livre
SA of Hodder Headline Limited
1. On 13 August 2004 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18
(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory
basis, of a proposal whereby Hachette Livre SA (“Hachette”) would acquire all
of the shares in Hodder Headline Limited (“Hodder”) (“the proposed
2. The proposed acquisition is international and was also notified to the UK
Office of Fair Trading and to the Bundeskartellamt in Germany.
The Parties
3. Hachette is a French company that publishes educational, reference, general
cultural and leisure books in France, Spain and the UK. Hachette is part of
the Lagardère group of companies, which operates in two main industries:
communications/media/publishing, high technology (including
defence/aerospace). Hachette has no physical presence in the State, but does
export books into the State from the UK.
4. Hodder, a subsidiary of the UK retail company WH Smith PLC, is active in
book publishing in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Through its
Irish branch office, Hodder publishes a small amount of Irish non-fiction and
fiction, and popular and literary books, in the State. Hodder also makes direct
sales into the State from the UK.
5. The parties to the proposed acquisition overlap in the Irish industry for the
wholesale supply of books to retail outlets. The parties estimate that, post-
acquisition, Hachette would hold the following sector shares: [10-20]% of the
sector for the wholesale supply of general literature (hardback); [10-20]% of
the sector for the wholesale supply of general literature (paperback); [0-
10]% of the sector for the wholesale supply of children’s books; [0-10]% of
the sector for the wholesale supply of scientific/medical/technical books; and
[0-10]% of the sector for the wholesale supply of academic and professional
6. The parties also provided information indicating that several large
competitors hold substantial shares in each of the above sectors. All share
estimates provided were derived from Nielsen Bookscan data.
7. The proposed acquisition would not result in the creation of market power
because concentration would not be substantially increased in any market as
may be defined. Hachette would hold no more than approximately [0-20]%
of any of the above sectors, post-acquisition, whilst a sufficient number of
large competitors would remain therein.

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