Deadline Extension

Check Out Delays Supermarket Deal

Supermarkets_DDP
Tengelmann has failed to reap the fruits of its labor.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If approved, the deal would give Edeka a 27.5 percent share of the market and further concentrate it among the four big players.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket operator, plans to buy 451 Kaiser’s Tengelmann stores.
    • The Federal Cartel Office is uneasy and is investigating the deal.
    • Its decision is now due on 7 April, just weeks before the parties planned to merge.
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    Audio

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A decision on whether Germany’s biggest supermarket operator can buy hundreds of stores from a rival has been delayed by the country’s powerful competition watchdog.

Edeka announced last year that it wanted to take over 451 stores belonging to Kaiser’s Tengelmann, a chain owned by the grocer Tengelmann, one of Germany’s largest family businesses. It plans to buy the stores, located in Bavaria, Berlin and North Rhine Westphalia, by 30 June.

But the Cartel Office raised concerns that the deal would concentrate too many stores under one owner in a market already dominated by just a few major players.

On 3 December, the agency imposed an interim injunction on Edeka and Tengelmann to prevent them from implementing parts of the planned merger before it had finished an investigation.

A final decision was expected on 6 March, but on Friday the parties presented a more detailed explanations of their sale plans to the Cartel Office. It is thought that they made some sort of concessions, industry sources said.

As a result, the agency decided to delay its decision until 7 April to study the new information.

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