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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

25 MAR 2011

Article 22 request

The OFT has published the full text of its request under Art 22 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the EC Merger Regulation) ((2004) OJ L 24/1) that the proposed acquisition by Aditya Birla Group of Columbian Chemicals be referred to the European Commission for review. The OFT request notes that whilst the proposed transaction was not notified in the UK, the OFT believes that it would qualify for review.

The transaction concerns carbon black, a substance mostly used in the production of tyres, plastics, cables, coatings and paints. Aditya Birla is the fourth largest producer of carbon black in the world.

  • The OFT considered that the criteria in its guidance on making an Art22 request were met:
  • the transaction would qualify for review under UK domestic law
  • the relevant geographic market is likely to be wider than the UK
  • the transaction was subject to notification in several EU Member States (Germany and Spain in addition to the UK), and
  • suitable remedies to competition concerns lie outside of the UK.

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