Poland's consumer watchdog, UOKiK, has raised objections to Carrefour Polska's acquisition of retail space used by Tesco in the Aleja Bielany Shopping Centre in Bielany Wrocławskie.
President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny issued the objection to the transaction as it may lead to limited competition in the local market.
Chróstny explained, "According to the conducted market research, the concentration may lead to a situation in which Carrefour Polska will not have to compete on the local market with other hypermarkets.
"In addition, consumers living in the vicinity of the acquired hypermarket would have a limited choice of shop in which to do their shopping. That is why I have issued objections to this concentration."
The transaction involves Carrefour Polska acquiring part of the assets of Ingka Centres Polska in the form of retail space used by a Tesco hypermarket in the shopping centre.
UOKiK noted that it was necessary to conduct a market investigation in this case and verify the data presented by the acquiring company in the application for permission for the transaction.
Following the investigation, the president of the office referred the case to the second stage.
The analysis of this case and the existing case law of the president of the office and antimonopoly bodies of other countries show that the area of competition of hypermarkets for customers falls within a radius of up to 25 minutes by car. This is the maximum distance that consumers are usually willing to travel in search of another hypermarket.
The reservations offer a justification and do not prejudge the final outcome of the proceedings, UOKiK added.
Under the regulations, the entrepreneurs have 14 days to respond to the reservations, with the option to extend the deadline by another two weeks upon request.
In April of this year, UOKiK fined Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins more than 60 million zlotys (€13.2 million) for reportedly labelling fruit and vegetables as grown in Poland when they were imported.