The Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter the «Commission») at its meeting dated 10/11/2016, after taking into account the written report of its Service regarding the acquisition of the management of «Marine Services» at Limassol Port (LOT 2) (hereinafter the "Target"), through the creation of the joint venture P & O MARITIME CYPRUS LTD by P & O Maritime FZE and G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Marine Services Limited, has found that the notified concentration falls within the provisions of the Control of Concentrations between Undertakings Law of 2014, Law no. 83 (I) / 2014 (hereinafter the "Law"), and raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with the functioning of competition in the market.
The Commission, after examining all the relevant issues, found that due to the existence of vertical relationships between the services by the Target and one of the of the companies controlling the joint venture, P & O MARITIME CYPRUS LTD, the notified concentration raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with the functioning of competition in the markets where G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Ltd is active.
Therefore, the Commission found that that the notified concentration requires further investigation as regards to the potential effects of competition in the market. More precisely, during the evaluation of the concentration, the Commission took into account the provisions of Section 19 (a) of the Law, which stipulates «the need to maintain and develop conditions of effective competition within the relevant markets in view of, among other things […] », and:
· The presence of a certain Director on the Board of Directors of DP World Limassol Ltd who is appointed by a founding company of the Target and who at the same time is a member of the Board of Directors of other companies belonging to G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Ltd. The presence of this Director on the Board, may lead to the elimination or reduction of competition in downstream or upstream markets, in relation to the markets where the Target is active, because as a result of the participation of the said Director at the Board of the target, he/she will be able to acquire confidential or/and sensitive information of the competitors of G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Ltd.
· The provision of advisory services by G.A.P. VASSILOPOULOS PUBLIC LTD to P & O MARITIME CYPRUS LTD, which may impede competition to a significant extent in the markets where G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Ltd is active, because as a result of the provision of these services, this company will be in a position to acquire confidential and/or sensitive information for its competitors.
The Commission on the basis of all relevant information which before it, concluded unanimously that there is a need to proceed to an in-depth investigation for the notified concentration, according to the provisions of the Law.
It is noted that according to section 26 of the Law, in the case of a concentration for which a full investigation is carried out and following an application by persons who may be affected directly by the decision of the Commission but who do not participate in the concentration, a suitable opportunity is offered to them to express their views regarding the concentration in such a manner and at such time as not to violate the time limit set in section 27.
THE COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION