Competition & Markets Authority
Provisional go-ahead for domestic appliances deal
CMA provisionally clears the anticipated deal between Arçelik and Whirlpool, finding that consumers will continue to have a wide range of choice
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that the deal between Arçelik and Whirlpool is not likely to raise significant competition concerns.
Arçelik and Whirlpool are two of the largest suppliers of major domestic appliances (MDAs) in the UK, including washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and cooking appliances. Arçelik supplies MDAs primarily under the Beko, Blomberg and Grundig brands, and Whirlpool supplies MDAs primarily under the Indesit and Hotpoint brands.
The provisional decision to clear the deal has been made by an independent CMA panel, as part of an in-depth Phase 2 investigation. The panel considered a wide range of evidence, including extensive engagement with Arçelik and Whirlpool, their customers, competitors, and others. Based on this evidence, the panel has provisionally found that consumers will continue to have a wide range of choices following the deal.
The panel found that although Arçelik and Whirlpool both have strong market positions, they will continue to face significant competition from other suppliers. This includes well known suppliers and brands such as BSH (including its Bosch and Neff brands), Haier Group (including its Hoover and Candy brands), Samsung and LG; retailers’ ‘private label’ brands such as Logik and Bush (Currys and Argos); and more recent entrants such as Hisense.
The panel found that the competitive landscape has changed considerably in recent years and continues to do so. Whirlpool’s market position in MDAs has significantly declined over the last decade, and it is likely that its European MDA business will be fundamentally different in the future. At the same time, suppliers such as Haier Group and Hisense have gained market share, and it is likely that they will continue to expand. These market dynamics are supported by a range of evidence, including from internal documents, financial analysis and third parties.
Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel conducting the investigation, said:
We have engaged extensively with customers, competitors, and others to understand the impact of this deal on businesses and consumers. Based on this engagement, and other evidence, we have provisionally found that there will continue to be significant competition in the coming years. We have also provisionally found that Whirlpool’s market position has declined, whilst new entrants to the UK are continuing to grow at a material rate.
Our provisional view is therefore that following this deal consumers will continue to benefit from a wide range of options for major domestic appliances.
Today’s findings are provisional, and the CMA will now consult on its findings and listen to any further views before reaching a final decision.
The CMA welcomes responses from interested parties to its provisional findings by 29 February 2024. These will be considered ahead of the CMA issuing its final report, which is due by 26 March 2024.
For more information, visit the Arçelik /Whirlpool case page.
Notes to Editors
- Pursuant to a Contribution Agreement dated 16 January 2023, Arçelik will set up a new standalone business, Beko Europe B.V., to which Arçelik will contribute its European MDA and small domestic appliances businesses and Whirlpool will contribute its EMEA MDA business. On completion of the deal, Arçelik will hold c.75%, and Whirlpool will hold c.25%, of the shares in Beko Europe.
- The CMA has provisionally found that the deal may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any markets in the UK, including for the supply of washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and cooking appliances (which comprises cookers, ovens and hobs).
- The parties and other interested parties have until 5pm (UK time) on 29 February 2024 to make representations to the CMA on these provisional findings.
- For more information, journalists should contact the CMA press office by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 020 3738 6460.
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