On 20 July 2018 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations, (hereafter "the Office") approved a merger grounded in the acquisition of indirect sole control of the undertaking GAZPROM Germania GmbH, Germany (hereafter "Gazprom") over the undertaking VEMEX ENERGO, s.r.o., Bratislava (hereafter "Vemex").
The undertaking Gazprom belongs to the economic group covered by the company PAO GAZPROM, Russia (hereafter "Gazprom Group"), which is engaged in the exploration, extraction, processing, transport, storage and trading of natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas condensate and it also operates in the field of oil extraction and export, with its global scope of activity. Furthermore, Gazprom Group operates in the field of electricity production exclusively in the territory of Russia. In the territory of the Slovak Republic it acts as a natural gas supplier to wholesalers.
The undertaking Vemex acts primarily as a retail supplier of natural gas to end customers - industrial customers, small undertakings and households exclusively in the territory of the Slovak Republic. At the same time, it acts as a wholesaler when it sells natural gas purchased as by a wholesaler to other wholesalers or distributors, with its scope of activity not limited only to the territory of the Slovak Republic.
Based on the information submitted to the Office, there is no horizontal overlap between the activities of the merging parties; however, there is a vertical relationship between them - Vemex purchasing a significant proportion of natural gas from Gazprom Group before the merger. In the view, in particular, of the scope of activities and market presence of Vemex under the wholesale/retail supplies of gas, this vertical link does not bring competition concerns in terms of the restriction of access to inputs or to customers.
After evaluating the documentation and information acquired, the Office came to the conclusion that the merger assessed is in line with the Article 12 Paragraph 1 of the Act on Protection of Competition, since it will not significantly impede effective competition on the relevant market, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
The decision came into force on 24 July 2018.