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MERGERS: AMO SR approved the merger of undertakings PHOENIX and SUNPHARMA

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On June 22, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Concentrations approved the merger through which the undertaking PHOENIX  International Beteiligungs GmbH, Federal Republic of Germany („PHOENIX“) acquired the indirect exclusive control over the undertaking Sunpharma Europe, Société à responsabilité limitée, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg („Sunpharma“).
PHOENIX is a limited company incorporated and existing under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. As a holding company it leads the economic group PHOENIX („Group PHOENIX“), which is the European pharma distributor acting in more than 20 European countries. Group PHOENIX acts also in the area of providing logistic services to pharmaceutical companies and in more countries it also acts in the area of retail sale of medicines through their own net of pharmacies.
In the territory of the Slovak Republic group PHOENIX acts mainly in the area of wholesale distribution of medicines and also in providing pharma-services to pharmaceutical companies and in the area of retail sale of medicines having two public pharmacies in Šaľa and in Stará Ľubovňa.
Sunpharma is a holding company incorporated and existing under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourgh. In its portfolio it manages the shares of companies operating the public pharmacies in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In Slovakia the undertaking Sunpharma realizes its activities through the 100 % subsidiary SUNPHARMA SK, a. s., Slovak Republic („SUNPHARMA SK“). SUNPHARMA SK (directly or indirectly) runs in Slovakia the network of 43 public pharmacies and also the online sale of medicines, medical devices, other health care products and lifestyle-oriented products.

Since both PHOENIX and Sunpharma operates public pharmacies and PHOENIX realizes also the distribution of medicines, the Office has been assessing both horizontal and vertical aspects of the merger concerned.
The Office assessed horizontal impacts of merger concerned both at the local and Slovak levels. Regarding the geographic localization of pharmacies the Office did not identify any competition concerns.
In the view of possible vertical impacts of merger concerned in the relevant market the Office has been assessing the possibility of foreclosing the access to subscribers for the competing distributors of medicines and also the foreclosing the access to entries for competing public pharmacies. The concerns in these views were not confirmed.
After evaluation of all acquired materials and information the Office concluded that the assessed merger does not infringe effective competition in the relevant market, mainly as result of creation or strengthening of dominant position and it approved the merger.

Decision came into force on June 23, 2015.