The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of ASAP Software Express, Inc. (US), ASAP Software SAS (France), 26ème Avenue SAS (France) and SCI Siman (France) (together "ASAP"), active in the EEA as resellers of packaged software, by the US-based Dell Inc. The four companies are currently indirectly controlled by Dutch Corporate Express N.V. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Dell is a global manufacturer and retailer of computing hardware, including notebook and desktop personal computers, workstations and servers, networking and storage products, imaging solutions and displays, software, and related services. ASAP's core business is the sale and distribution of software either obtained from third-parties (primarily Microsoft) or which it has developed itself.

The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that, given the different business focus of Dell (retail sale of computing hardware) compared to ASAP (repair resale of packaged software), horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities would occur only in four Member States (the UK, Sweden, Belgium and The Netherlands) and would be minimal. As regards possible vertical relationships between the software resale activities and the hardware manufacturing activities in Ireland, the Commission found that Dell would have neither the ability nor the incentive to close off competitors. [9 November 2007]