Rethmann Group / Remondis: the German Competition Authority Examines Preconditions for Extended Obligation to Notify Future Takeovers

Rekabet Hukuku

The German Competition Authority (“the Bundeskartellamt”) has initiated a further sector inquiry in the waste management sector. The authority is going to examine whether the Rethmann Group can be obliged to also notify future takeovers of smaller companies.

In principle merger control does not apply until the participating undertakings achieve certain minimum turnovers and thus have a certain economic significance. The new provisions of Section 39a GWB, which entered into force with the 10th amendment to the GWB in early 2021, allow the Bundeskartellamt to oblige companies to also notify takeovers of smaller companies, i.e. companies that do not reach the normal turnover thresholds, in certain economic sectors.

The new provisions apply if the acquirer has a Germany-wide share of more than 15 per cent of sales in the affected economic sectors, the target company achieved revenues of at least 2 million euros in the last business year and at least two thirds of its total turnover in Germany, and if there are objectively viable indications that future concentrations could considerably impair effective competition in Germany.

In a first step, the authority will interview the 15 most important competitors in the areas of household waste, residual waste, organic waste and paper, cardboard and cardboard packaging. The Bundeskartellamt will also look into the processing of packaging and waste glass.

You can find the full text here.

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