The European Commission has cleared Novelis’ acquisition of Aleris after an in-depth investigation, subject to the divestment of Aleris’ plant in Duffel, Belgium. The Commission concluded that the divestment would remove the concerns it identified for aluminium automotive body sheets during its investigation, as a result of the parties having “very high market shares” and controlling “a very significant proportion of the manufacturing capacity for aluminium automotive body sheets in the EEA”. Besides automotive body sheets, the European Commission concluded that there were no competitive concerns resulting from the parties’ overlapping aluminium products used in other industries, such as building, construction and floor heating.
CRA has provided economic advice to Novelis during the European proceedings, from pre-notification to the conclusion of the Commission’s second phase investigation. The CRA team conducted a number of economic and empirical analyses, including bidding and econometric analyses, diversion ratios calculation, analyses of capacity and demand, price elasticity and competitive constraints analyses, and price discrimination analysis. The CRA team also took part to “data room” reviews at the Commission premises and provided expert testimony during the Commission’s oral hearing.
The CRA EU team was led by Raphaël De Coninck and also included Roman Fischer, Elina Koustoumpardi, Mikaël Hervé, Gaëtan Lelièvre, Matthieu Fragnière, Kilian Mueller, Max Schlosser, Tara Mampilly and Céline Rizzoli.
For more details, please see the European Commission’s press release.
Assessing umbrella pricing incentives
When collusive agreements involve a subset of firms in an industry, they may create the incentive and ability for firms that are not participants in the cartel...