On 3 September 2019 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations, (hereafter "the Office") approved the merger grounded in the acquisition of direct joint control of the undertakings GRAFOBAL GROUP development, a. s., Bratislava (hereafter "GGD") and Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a. s., (Bratislava Water Company), Bratislava (hereafter "BVS") over the undertaking Infra Services, a. s., Bratislava (hereafter "Infra Services").
In this case, a dispute concerning the exact date of the creation of the merger arose between the Office and the notifiers of the merger in question. Since the resolution of this dispute does not affect the factual assessment of the impact of the merger, the Office assessed the merger and the issues disputed are subject to further investigation.
The undertaking GGD belongs to the economic group of companies controlled by Mr. Doc. PhDr. Ivan Kmotrík, PhD. (hereafter "Grafobal Group"). The undertaking GGD is active in the area of real estate construction/development with the aim of seeking and realizing investment opportunities in the real estate area. At the same time, within Grafobal Group, it covers the realization of residential, office and retail projects. Within its activities, the company GGD focuses mainly on Bratislava and its surroundings, Grafobal Group has real estate projects also in other parts of the SR.
The undertaking BVS operates primarily in the area of drinking water supply for households and other consumers and waste water drainage in the territory of Bratislava, the portion of Trnava and the portion of Trenčín self-governing regions.
The undertaking Infra Services performs mainly service and maintenance works on the water main and the sewer network of BVS and related equipment, the installation and the replacement of water meters, the realization of connections to public water main and sewerage and construction works related to the construction of water main and sewer networks. It performs these services primarily for its parent company BVS. Furthermore, it provides the company BVS with support services, including the rental of vehicles and mechanisms, and the facility management of objects of BVS.
From the horizontal point of view, there are no overlaps in relation to the SR, which would result from the merger. From the non-horizontal point of view, certain vertical links between Infra Services´ activities in the area of construction works (including the construction of water main and sewer connections) and in facility management in the SR were identified, as potential inputs for Grafobal Group's activities in the area of real estate development and space rental activities in real estates for administrative or commercial purposes in the SR.
Considering in particular the fact that before the merger the company Infra Services provided its services primarily within the group, as well as with regard to the scope of Grafobal Group´s activities in the area of construction (development) and rental of real estates in the SR, the Office came to the conclusion that the merger assessed is in accordance with the Article 12 Paragraph 1 of the Act on Protection of Competition, since it does not significantly impede effective competition in the relevant market, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
The decision came into force on 5 September 2019.