The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of joint control of SIG (Switzerland) by Ferd (the owner of Elopak, Norway) and CVC (Luxembourg). Both Elopak and SIG are suppliers of carton filling machines and carton material for non-carbonated liquid food products packaging. An in-depth investigation will enable the Commission to assess whether the reduction of competitors in the already highly concentrated market for carton packaging would possibly have anti-competitive effects and possibly harm consumers. The Commission has now has 90 working days, until 15 May 2007, to make a decision.

The carton packaging market in the EEA is characterised by a concentrated market structure with one large (Tetra Pak) and two smaller suppliers (SIG and Elopak) which together account for virtually 100% of the sales. Therefore the proposed transaction would combine the second and the third largest suppliers, while Tetra Pak would remain...

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