In February 2023, the German Bundeskartellamt cleared the acquisition by Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller (“Müller”) of certain brands and production facilities of Royal Friesland Campina. Both parties are dairy producers with a significant brand presence in Germany. Compass Lexecon advised Müller during the merger proceedings before the German Federal Cartel Office.
The Bundeskartellamt opened an in-depth investigation to study the competitive effects of the transaction in the dairy sector. In particular, it had concerns over the effects of the deal in the areas of fresh dairy drinks, plain basic milk drinks and rice pudding, which were considered to be separate product markets. To address the Bundeskartellamt’s concerns, Müller proposed the sale of the Friesland Campina’s Tuffi brand and the issuance of licenses to sell rice pudding and fresh dairy drinks under the Landliebe brand.
Compass Lexecon assessed the Bundeskartellamt’s ‘event analysis’, which examined data on price changes and discounts for dairy products and contributed significantly to the Bundeskartellamt’s market definition. We submitted a report with our criticism on the Bundeskartellamt’s empirical analysis.