Objection against the merger between Altia and Arcus

The Norwegian Competition Authority is considering intervening against the merger between Altia Plc. and Arcus ASA. The Authority’s preliminary view is that the merger may weaken competition in several markets for the sale of spirits to Vinmonopolet, the Norwegian State alcohol retail monopoly.

The merger involves Finish company Altia and the Norwegian company Arcus, two of the largest suppliers of spirits to Vinmonpolet. Altia and Arcus are also two of the largest companies in several markets for the sale of spirits to Vinmonopolet. The companies have today received a statement of objections, informing them that the Authority is considering intervening against the merger.

– The combined Altia and Arcus would become the largest supplier in the market for sale of aquavit, vodka and spirits marketed to consumers under 20 years (spirits with less than 22 % alcohol content) through Vinmonopolet. It is the Authority’s opinion that Altia and Arcus are close competitors in these markets, says Deputy Director Beate M. Berrefjord.

– We are concerned that this merger may weaken competition in several markets for sale of spirits to Vinmonopolet and that reduced competition would lead to higher prices for the customers who buy these products, says Project Manager Jan Kristoffer Høiland.

The notifying parties have proposed remedies with a view to remove the competition concerns identified by the Competition Authority.

– We have considered these remedies, however we have found that they are insufficient to mitigate the harm to competition that the merger may cause, says Berrefjord.

The Authority underlines that today’s statement of objection is preliminary and that a final decision has not yet been adopted.

According to the Competition Act, the companies now have 15 working days to submit their comments to the Authority’s statement of objections. Thereafter, the Authority has 15 working days to make its final decision.

The deadline for a final decision is 27 April 2021.

Glass med vodka på et bord.
Deputy Director Beate M. Berrefjord.
Jan Kristoffer Høiland, Project Manager.

Contact information

Press contact: + 47 47 66 77 77

Beate Milford Berrefjord,
Deputy Director
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Jan Kristoffer Høiland, 
Project Manager
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