Blocket Bostad will not acquire its competitor Hemnet. The merger notification that had been previously submitted to the Swedish Competition Authority has been withdrawn by the parties. Those who sell or buy homes will benefit as a result.
The Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) has investigated and analysed the proposed deal as competent authority in Sweden. After the parties had been notified of the SCA’s preliminary objections, they proposed commitments to alleviate the likely anticompetitive effects of the merger. The commitments were insufficient and the parties have now decided not to carry out the proposed merger and to withdraw their notification. This happened after the SCA informed the parties that it intended to bring a case at the Stockholm District Court to block the parties from carrying out the proposed merger.
“This is a good day for Sweden’s property sellers,” says Dan Sjöblom, Director-General of the SCA. “If the deal had gone through, a monopoly would have been formed in the market for digital property listings. That would have led to higher listing prices.”
Both Blocket Bostad, which is owned by Schibsted, and Hemnet, which is owned by various estate agents, are active in the digital property listings market. If Blocket Bostad, the smaller of the two, had been allowed to acquire Hemnet, the market leader, a monopoly would have been created in the market.
“It is good that the proposed merger has been brought to a conclusion in this way,” continues Mr Sjöblom. “If the deal had been carried out, it would have led to competition being seriously restricted.”
As the parties’ merger notification has now been withdrawn, the SCA will proceed to close the case.
“We were prepared to go to court to have the deal blocked if the application had not been withdrawn,” adds Chief Legal Officer Per Karlsson. “This has now been avoided. As a result, the parties and their customers no longer need to wait for the conclusion of a long and costly court case for a decision.”
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Secretary, tel. +46 (0)76 542 15 80 email@example.com
Per Karlsson, Chief Legal Officer, tel. +46 (0)76 542 15 56
Read more about competition and procurement issues at www.konkurrensverket.se