Auchan’s proposed acquisition of companies in the Real group in Poland has been referred to UOKiK by the European Commission.

The Auchan group operates hypermarkets and supermarkets in 11 countries. Real is a part of the Metro Group which operates across 30 countries in Europe and Eastern Asia.

The transaction was originally notified to the European Commission as it has a ‘Community dimension’ i.e. the parties combined aggregate worldwide and EU turnovers exceed the relevant thresholds under EC Merger Regulation.

However, it was then referred to the Polish and Romanian antitrust authorities as it only affects competition in Poland and Romania.

The referral to UOKiK was made at the request of the parties and is only the third time ever that it has ever happened.

In 2012, the European Commission referred two cases to UOKiK: the merger between ITI and Canal+ media groups; and PKN Orlen’s acquisition of sole control of Petrolot. Both transactions were cleared by UOKiK.