Competition Authority announces lapse of proceedings relating to merger operation Ccent. No. 16/2008 – Galp/Fuel Stations

On 22 February 2008, the Competition Authority was notified of a merger operation relating to the acquisition, by the undertaking Petróleos de Portugal - Petrogal SA, of the exclusive rights to operate a series of assets consisting of eight road transport Fuel Stations that were formerly the property of the undertaking Carrefour Portugal – Sociedade de Exploração de Centros Comerciais SA and are at present the property of the Sonae Group.

During the first phase of the preparation of the case, the Competition Authority collected information on, for example, market shares, the pricing policies of the participating undertakings and the structure of the relevant markets identified. In the light of this information, it concluded that the operation mentioned might create or reinforce a dominant position that could result in significant barriers to effective competition in some of the retail distribution markets analysed for road transport fuel on a local scale.

Thus, on 26 August 2008, exercising the powers conferred on it by Article 17 (1) b) of its statutes, approved by Decree-Law 10/2003 of 18 January, the Council of the Competition Authority decided, under Article 35 (1) c) of Law No. 18/2003 of 11 June, to commence the in-depth investigation phase.

In the in-depth investigation phase, the CA proceeded to make further enquiries, approaching both the notifying party and third parties and gathering the additional information necessary for na appraisal of the merger operation in question.

On 14 January 2009, the notifying party informed the CA of its withdrawal from the administrative proceedings in progress and its decision not to carry out the merger operation notified. Accordingly, under Article 112 (1) of the Code of Administrative Procedure, the CA hás announced that the proceedings commenced to appraise the merger operation notified have lapsed.

(Nº: 2/2009)