The European Commission has the power to supervise mergers and acquisitions under Regulation 139/2004 which is the so-called "Merger Control Regulation".
On 19 October 2016, the European Commission decided in Case M.8105 under Article 6(1)(b) of the Merger Control Regulation to approve the proposed acquisition of joint control over United European Car Carriers Ibérica SLU (UECC Ibérica) (i.e., the "Target") by (a) Marítima del Mediterráneo SAU (Marmedsa) who would acquire 50% of the share capital of the Target and (b) the current sold shareholder, United European Car Carriers Unipessoal Lda (UECC) who would move from being a 100% shareholder to a 50% shareholder. The transaction was notified to the European Commission on 22 September 2016. The case was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
UECC Ibérica managed and operated a terminal in the port of Pasajes in Gipuzkoa in Spain. The port was used for the handling of vehicles. Marmedsa operated under the Noatum brand. Marmedsa provided maritime, logistics and cargo terminal operations in the Iberian Peninsula. UECC was a subsidiary of United European Car Carriers, BV, active in the provision of short-sea vehicle transportation of cars and light commercial vehicles in Europe.
The Commission decided that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because a number of alternative vehicle terminal operators and carriers would remain active in Spain after the acquisition. The case demonstrates how alternative and remaining competition can be very helpful in having transaction approved.