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MERGERS: AMO SR approved the merger of insurance companies Union poisťovňa, a.s., and Poštová poisťovňa, a.s.

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On 9 February 2021 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of  Concentrations, (hereafter "the Office”) approved a merger grounded in the acquisition of direct exclusive control of undertaking Union poisťovňa, a. s., Bratislava (hereafter "Union") over undertaking Poštová poisťovňa, a. s., Bratislava (hereafter "Poštová poisťovňa”).
The group Achmea, which includes the company Union, is active primarily in Europe, Canada and Australia and it provides financial products, in particular life insurance, non-life and health insurance. In the SR it provides only the products of life insurance, non-life insurance and health insurance.
Prior to the merger, the joint control over the acquired company has been exercised by companies Poštová banka and Slovenská pošta. Poštová poisťovňa is active exclusively in the SR in the area of life and non-life insurance.
The merger leads to a horizontal overlap between the activities of companies Union and Poštová poisťovňa, namely within the framework of life and non-life insurance. The Office found out that a horizontal overlap in a non-life insurance sector occurs in the following areas:
  • accident and disease insurance,
  • fire and other property damage insurance,
  • liability insurance,
  • legal protection insurance,
  • assistance services and
  • various financial losses.  
The Office further found out that a horizontal overlap in a life insurance sector occurs in the following areas:
  • insurance in the event of survival, in the event of death, in the event of death or survival, in the event of survival with the possibility of refunding premiums, insurance associated with capitalization contracts,
  • pension insurance,
  • supplementary insurance taken out in addition to life insurance, in particular in the event of personal injury, including incapacity for work, in the event of death as the result of an accident and in the event of invalidity as the result of an accident or an illness. 
The resulting overlaps between the merging parties in the above stated areas of life and non-life insurance do not raise any competition concerns in terms of horizontal assessment of given merger, as in the above stated areas of insurance the combined market shares of the merging parties do not even reach the level of affected markets (15 %). On the other hand, as the strongest competitors in the stated areas there are active companies Allianz - Slovenská poisťovňa, a. s., Bratislava, KOOPERATIVA poisťovňa, a. s., Vienna Insurance Group, Bratislava and Generali Poisťovňa, a. s., Bratislava.
By the merger in question, the company Union will also gain an access to distribution channels, which have been currently used exclusively by the acquired company, but due to the low shares of merging parties and, conversely, the higher shares of the strongest competitors in the above stated areas, the Office did not identify the negative competition impacts of merger in relation to the territory of the SR from the point of view of vertical assessment.
After evaluating obtained documentation and information, the Office concluded that the merger assessed is in accordance with the Article 12 Paragraph 1 of the Act on Protection of Competition, as it will not significantly impede an effective competition in relevant market, in particular as the result of creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
The decision entered into force on 24 February 2021.