EU move Pini Smithfield deal to UOKiK
European Commission has moved the approval of Smithfield Foods aquisation of Pini Polonia to the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK). Both companies are active in the slaughtering of pigs in Poland. Smithfield Foods could secure a pig slaughter monopoly in Poland if the deal is approved, which could dent farmers ability to negotiate fair prices for the livestock they supply. So the European Commission has asked UOKiK to examine the transaction.
UOKiK requested that the Commission refer to it the assessment of the proposed transaction. UOKiK put forward competition concerns in certain Polish markets related to pig slaughtering. It also claimed that it would be well placed to review the competition effects of the proposed transaction given that:
- The transaction would have no impact on markets outside Poland and
- UOKiK has the necessary knowledge and experience for the assessment of the case because it has conducted several investigations related to the agricultural sector (including inter alia investigations involving Smithfield).
The evidence gathered by the Commission confirmed that the proposed transaction would only affect competition as regards the slaughtering of pigs in Poland, where Smithfield and Pini Polonia are currently the two largest market players. The Commission therefore decided to refer the proposed transaction to UOKiK, which will deal with the case under Polish national law.
Source: European Commission