The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of chocolate manufacturer Schokinag of Germany by the US agricultural commodity undertaking Archer Daniels Midland. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is active in the production, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities and products such as oilseed, corn and cocoa. Schokinag manufactures and distributes semifinished cocoa and chocolate products, with a focus on industrial chocolate.
The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed merger in the markets for the procurement of cocoa beans and semi-finished cocoa products (cocoa mass, cocoa butter, cocoa powder) where both parties are active. The Commission's analysis found that ADM and Schokinag are not close competitors with respect to the range and types of products that they offer. The Commission's investigation also established that a number of effective competitors were supplying the relevant products. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction would not lead to competition concerns.