EU clears purchase of ABB’s power cable business

The European Commission has cleared the proposed purchase of ABB’s €836 million (£713m) high voltage power cable business by NKT Cables. It concluded the merged firm would continue to face […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The European Commission has cleared the proposed purchase of ABB’s 836 million (£713m) high voltage power cable business by NKT Cables.

It concluded the merged firm would continue to face effective competition in Europe.

In 2014, the Commission found the main producers of high voltage power cables, including NKT and ABB, were involved in a cartel aimed at restricting competition for high voltage underground and submarine power cable projects.

They had agreed on market and customer allocation.

According to the Commission, the cartel included Japanese and Korean producers refraining from competing for projects in the European Economic Area, thus staying out of the European companies’ home territory.

The investigation focused on the parties’ overlapping activities for high voltage power cables, which are used to connect transmission grids separated by water and to bring onshore the energy generated by offshore wind farms.

The Commission found the proposed buyout would not result in a significant reduction in competition and businesses from Asia, such as LS Cables and Sumitomo, have entered the market.