By Maitane Sardon
A proposed acquisition by MOL Hungary Oil & Gas of the Slovenian business of OMV AG is being investigated by the European Union on antitrust concerns, the bloc's executive arm said Thursday.
The European Commission said it is concerned that the proposed transaction may reduce competition in the retail motor fuel markets in Slovenia and has launched an in-depth investigation.
"OMV Slovenija and MOL are two of the leading fuel suppliers in Slovenia, which compete head-to-head in many local areas," said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for competition policy.
"We need to carefully assess whether the changes in the competitive landscape prompted by the proposed acquisition would have an impact on prices or the quality of services," she said.
The EC noted that the merger could remove the main competitive constraint the two companies face in the market.
Earlier this month, OMV said it had reached an agreement for MOL to acquire the entirety of its Slovenian business for a purchase price of 301 million euros ($318.1 million.) The transaction was expected to close this year, the company said at the time.
Following the investigation, the EU has until Oct. 28 to make a decision regarding approval of the transaction, it said.
Write to Maitane Sardon at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires