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EU Blocks Wieland's Acquisition Of Aurubis' Rolled Copper Products Business

European Commission has blocked Wieland's acquisition of Aurubis' rolled copper products business as the deal could make Wieland a dominant player and reduce competition.

The commission, in a statement said,"Wieland and Aurubis are two of the three biggest producers of rolled copper products in Europe. The merger also concerned pre-rolled copper strip, which makes rolled copper products. The two companies own a joint venture, called Schwermetall, which makes this very important input."

The commission reached a conclusion that the merger could make Wieland the dominant player in the market for rolled copper products. It would have had a market share in Europe of over 50%, with only one other competitor with a market share above 10% remaining.

The Commission's investigation concluded that the merger would have harmed competition and choice in this market and raised rolled copper prices for industrial customers.

Wieland could also have restricted its far smaller competitors in Europe from accessing pre-rolled copper strip. With the merger Wieland would have gained full control over Schwermetall, which is the largest supplier of pre-rolled strip in Europe, with a market share of more than 60%. So Wieland would have been able to raise the costs of these smaller competitors, gain access to confidential information about their inputs and damage their overall competitiveness in European and global markets.

"Our decision protects customers by preventing the creation of a dominant player in the market, which would have resulted in higher input prices for European industrial customers," the commission said.

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