BUSINESS SHORTS

Tesco takeover of Carrefour halted in Slovakia

SLOVAKIA'S Anti-Trust Bureau (PMÚ) announced that it would not allow British retail chain Tesco to buy out hypermarkets in Slovakia currently owned by French chain Carrefour.

Tesco informed the European Commission (EC) of its intentions before initiating the process. "As this evoked fears of an economic competition violation within Slovakia, the EC asked the Slovak PMÚ to examine it," PMÚ spokeswoman Alexandra Bernáthová told TASR on January 5.

The PMÚ analyzed the possible impact of the move on three local markets - Bratislava, Žilina and Košice - where Tesco and Carrefour's activities in Slovakia currently overlap.

The Bureau claimed that if the deal were allowed to go through, Tesco would be able to create or strengthen a dominant position. "Tesco wouldn't have any serious economic competition, and its economic power would allow it to behave independently in relation to suppliers, customers and its rivals," reads the PMÚ decision.

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