Brief – EU court rules blocked packaging merger lawful

The Commission’s blocking in 2001 of the merger between Tetra
Laval (packaging, Switzerland/Sweden) and Sidel (plastic bottles,
France) has been definitively overruled by the European Court of
Justice (ECJ).

The ECJ on 15 February definitively overruled the decision to
block the proposed merger, which according to the Commission, would
have turned Sidel’s already leading position on industrial
equipment for (PET) plastic bottles into a dominant one.

The merger would also have reinforced Tetra Laval’s already
dominant position on the carton-packaging market, the Commission
argued at the time (see EURACTIV,  25 Oct. 2002). 

But the Court of First Instance’s rejection of those arguments
was confirmed in the appeal before the European Court of Justice
(ECJ) on Tuesday 15 February. 

“The evidence submitted in support of the Commission’s arguments
was insufficient, incomplete, insignificant, inconsistent and
therefore inaccurate,” the judges said.

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