Carrefour Tesco Slovakian swap goes sour

By James Knowles

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tesco Slovakia Hypermarket

The Slovakian Antimonopoly Office has put the breaks on a deal
between Carrefour and Tesco, saying that it would give the British
supermarket a monopoly over the market.

The deal between the supermarket giants involved swapping stores in three countries. While Carrefour acquired six stores in Taiwan, it handed over 11 to Tesco in the Czech Republic, and had planned to exchange four more stores in Slovakia.

"Entrepreneur Tesco would not be exposed to substantive competition pressure and regarding its economic power it could behave independently in its relations with suppliers, consumers and rivals,"​ commented the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovakian Republic.

The market regulators decision to ban Tesco's take-over of Carrefour's Slovak operations slows the British supermarkets march into the emerging Eastern European markets. Tesco commented that despite the set-back it remains the number one food retailer it still enjoys a strong position in the Slovakian market.

"It is important for the decision to be seen in context. This is a small transaction which resulted in a more significant acquisition of 11 Carrefour hypermarkets in the Czech Republic,"​ said Tesco's in a company statement.

The Slovakian Antimonopoly Office came to its conclusion after studying three key markets including, Bratislava, Žilina and Košice, where the activities of the two supermarkets overlap. The study found that local food retailers were too weak to offer competition to Tesco, which is already the number one food retailer in Slovakia.

The Carrefour Group issued a statement in response to the banned transaction stating that it would now consider further options, including the possible disposal of its Slovakian operations on a store by store basis.

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