The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Pride Foods (trading under the name Gerber Emig), a fruit juice bottler of UK, by its Dutch rival Refresco, subject to conditions. The parties are both active in the production and bottling of non-carbonated soft drinks (“NCSDs”) to retailers and in contract manufacturing branded NCSDs for brand owners in a number of Member States in the European Economic Area (“EEA”). The Commission’s investigation revealed that the acquisition, as originally notified, would have eliminated an important competitor from the market of private label bottlers for supermarkets in France, Germany and Belgium in particular in relation to fruit juices, juice drinks, nectars and still drinks bottled in aseptic PET. Furthermore, the Commission’s investigation showed that the parties would also have had a very strong position in relation to ready-to-drink (“RTD”) teas bottled in aseptic PET in Germany. As a result, remaining competitors would have been unable to exercise a sufficient competitive constraint on the merged entity to avoid price increases. To address the Commission’s concerns, Refresco offered to divest Gerber Emig’s production and bottling plant in Waibstadt, Germany. The bottling plant has the ability to bottle aseptic PET in sufficient volumes to impose a competitive constraint on the parties in the areas of concern. In view of the commitment, the Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or in any substantial part thereof. Source: Commission Press Release 4/10/2013