US manufacturer Whirlpool announced its intention to take a controlling interest in Italian rival Indesit in July last year.
While both companies manufacture and supply a range of major domestic appliances (MDA), including refrigerators, US manufacturer Whirlpool also manufactures refrigeration compressors. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, given that many alternative MDA suppliers exist in the European Economic Area and at national level.
Both Whirlpool and Indesit produce all types of MDAs and are active in various member states. However, the Commission found that the parties are not particularly close competitors and the combined entity would continue to face significant competition from a number of strong European players, such as Electrolux, BSH, Candy and Míele as well as other rapidly-growing competitors such as Arcelik of Turkey, Samsung and LG of South Korea. Therefore, customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all MDA categories.
The transaction also creates a vertical relationship in the market for refrigeration compressors, which are produced by Whirlpool and used as an input in the production of refrigerators and freezers. However, the Commission found that the merged entity’s market share in refrigeration compressors will remain moderate after the merger and a number of alternative compressor suppliers will remain on the market, including competitors such as Secop, Huayi/Jiaxipera, LG and Samsung.