The first to do so, the Finnish competition authorities have approved the merger between MD Foods and the Swedish Arla. The announcement follows consultations with the Finnish retail trade which raised no objections to the merger on competition grounds although both MD Foods and Arla are exporters to the Finnish market.
Besides Finland, the competition authorities in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the UK and Greece have been informed of the merger.
In line with EU regulations these 5 countries have one month to decide whether to consider the merger locally or refer it to the EU. So far none of the countries has signalled their intentions.
The Swedish Competition Council recently announced that the importance of the merger, in accordance with Swedish legislation, entitles it to consider its decision for up to four months. This decision, however, would not be affected by a possible decision to refer the merger to the EU.
The decisions of the five countries will be announced here at MD Foods' website.