The European Commission said it has cleared distributor Tech Data's acquisition of Computer 2000.
Tech Data is one of the largest IT wholesalers globally while Computer 2000 is a wholesaler active in Europe, the Commission said, outlining its reasons for giving a green light to the deal.
The merged operation will face competition from rivals distributing direct to the final consumer, it went on, and the merger will mainly affect the French, German and Austrian markets.
Despite concerns about these three countries, where both companies are strong, the Commission believes there are sufficient strong competitors, plus IT manufacturers with their own distribution channels, to keep the market open.
Figures from analysts IDC for 1998 indicate that the combined operation will have 20 per cent of the market in Germany, 17 per cent in Austria and a little less than eight per cent in France.
In Spain, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands, the combined company will have shares of respectively 22.4 per cent, 21.3 per cent, 29.3 per cent and 10.9 per cent, but the merger will have little impact on present market shares, IDC figures indicate.
The market overlap is very marginal in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, and there is no overlap in Finland.
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