These conclusions are an evidence of the fact that the size of the market shares is not the only element which should be taken into account in order to evaluate the potential effects of a merger, as it has been concluded today by the Romanian Competition Council today, 18 December 2013, further to the first ex-post monitoring of a merger in Romania – the Lidl/Plus case.
Although the market shares of Lidl and of the Plus chain of supermarkets were as high as 40-50% on certain local markets, thus being above the alert level, it has been demonstrated that, subsequent to the merger, prices did not increase more than the average on the market, except for a few products – bread, milk, oil – for which the demand is generally rigid.
The ex-post monitoring is used frequently and is useful to the competition authorities in order to ”fine-tune” their methods for analysing the effects of a merger.
Mr.Valentin Mircea, who will take over the position of Senior Partner of Mircea and Partners, from January 2014 declared:
”I am glad to hear these conclusions because I took part in the clearence of this merger and I proposed to make the ex-post analysis, so that the doubts which still persisted at that time, regarding the potential price increases, is submitted to a proper evaluation methodology. The ex-post anaysis cannot result in any change of the authorisation decsion but if in a certain case the results are negative, the competition authority has the possibility to investigate the existence of a possible abuse of dominance, in addition to learning the necessaary lessons for aproaching similar situations in the future.”