European Commission authorities have unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition of Osram by ams through the EU Merger Regulation.
The Commission concluded the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Both ams and Osram are global suppliers of optical sensors, including certain light sensors and laser diodes for the consumer electronics, automotive, industrial, medical and other markets. The transaction would combine the companies’ optical semiconductor solutions and technologies.
During its investigation, the Commission received feedback from a broad range of competitors and customers of Osram and ams , including manufacturers of consumer electronics and of automotive equipment.
Based on its preliminary investigation, the Commission found the transaction, as notified, would not significantly reduce head-to-head competition between the companies in the markets for optical semiconductors, in particular for the following reasons:
- The companies have low to moderate combined market shares for certain light sensors and laser diodes, for which their offers overlap and in most of those cases their respective products are not close substitutes from a customer perspective
- A number of competitors offer viable alternatives to the companies’ products and barriers to entry do not seem to prevent the emergence of new market entrants
- The fast evolving products and market dynamics as well as sophisticated buyers do not allow the companies to exert significant market power
- A majority of market participants consulted by the Commission appears to be either supportive of the transaction or not concerned by it
The Commission also found vertical relationships between the activities of ams and Osram did not result in harm to competition, mainly because the merged entity would have not have a sufficient degree of market power to restrict competitors’ access to essential inputs or to a sufficient customer base.
The Commission also investigated whether the merged entity could shut out competitors, through practices such as bundling certain products. The Commission concluded the merged entity would not have a sufficient degree of market power to engage in such strategies and harm competition.
The Commission therefore concluded the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the EEA and cleared the case unconditionally.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 29 May 2020.
The Merger Regulation aims at preventing concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it, for example by risking higher prices, lower quality and/or less innovation. The Commission’s mandate through the European merger control rules is to assess the merger solely from the perspective of its effects on competition.
The vast majority of notified mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review.