Although decisions are still awaited in jurisdictions in Asia, on 29 September, the Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic. However, the clearance was made conditional on the divestment of certain battery production facilities in markets where the Commission identified competition concerns.

Antitrust issues

The Commission’s investigation identified three battery markets in which the combined Panasonic/Sanyo entity would have high market shares. To remedy the concerns, the parties agreed to divest a production facility which produced two of the three types of battery where there were competition concerns and, in relation to the third type of battery, agreed to divest Sanyo’s business in this area.

Interestingly, as regards products for which Panasonic and Sanyo are better known (consumer electronic products such as camcorders and televisions), the Commission concluded that the horizontal impact of the deal was limited because the increase in market share resulting from the deal was small, there were a number of remaining players in these markets and the merging parties were not viewed as each other’s closest competitor.