Pursuant to the acquisition of Smart Fuels AS by St1 Nordic, the Competition Authority imposed a duty to divest St1 Nordic’s existing fuel retail business in Norway
– The fuel retail market is important to consumers. The Authority has several times over the last few years pointed to a limited state of competition in this market, and it is critical that we do not allow competition to be reduced further, says Director General Lars Sørgard
The proposed purchaser, Blue Energy Holding AS, did not meet the requirements set forward in the decision to allow the merger, in particular that the purchaser should be independent of the seller, and that it should hold the requisite financial resources to effectively compete on the fuel market.
– The proposed purchaser has too close financial ties to St1, and the seller has licensed the St1 brand for a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, there were significant doubt as to whether they had the needed financial resources to effectively replace St1 Nordic in the Norwegian market, says Head of Department Ingrid Kjeldstad Gullaksen.