The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Scandinavian part of the Actebis group, which is mainly active in the wholesale of information technology products, by Arques Industries AG of Germany. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Arques is active through its portfolio companies in diverse sectors, including the wholesale, resale and assembling of information technology (IT) products in the EEA. The Scandinavian Actebis companies are mainly active only in the wholesale of IT products.

The proposed transaction is to be seen in relation with the previous acquisition of the Western European part of the Actebis group by Arques, which the Commission authorised on 27 September 2007.

With respect to the wholesale of IT products, the Commission found that the horizontal overlap between the parties' activities would not give rise to competition concerns, since the parties' combined market share would be relatively low in those Member States where their operations overlap. The combined Arques/Actebis entity would continue to face several strong competitors in all Member States. Arques alone is active in the retail market for IT products and the assembling of IT products, where it has only negligible activities. The Commission concluded that Arques' small-scale activities combined with the parties' relatively low market share in IT wholesale would not impede effective competition. [18 December 2007]