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EU Conditionally Approves Salmon Farm Deal

 |  November 1, 2022

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of NTS by SalMar. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by SalMar.

SalMar is one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon, with operations in Norway, Iceland and Scotland. NTS, which owns SalmoNor, Norway Royal Salmon and Frøy, is also a leading salmon farmer active in Norway and Iceland.

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Given that the merger combines two leading farmers of salmon, the Commission investigated concerns raised by market players that the transaction, as originally notified, could have reduced competition for the supply of Icelandic salmon in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’), which the investigation confirmed to be a distinct market with respect to salmon of a different origin, based notably on product characteristics (quality, price, availability) and customer preferences.

Following its investigation, the Commission found that the transaction would have reduced the number of active farmers of Icelandic salmon from three to two. As a result, the merged entity would have become by far the largest supplier of Icelandic salmon. This could have led to higher prices and less choice for Icelandic salmon in the EEA.