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UK regulator to conduct thorough investigation into Arçelik-Whirlpool deal

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UK regulator to conduct thorough investigation into Arçelik-Whirlpool deal

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has threatened to launch a deeper investigation into the potential acquisition of Whirlpool’s European home appliances business by Arçelik, the maker of Beko appliances. The CMA expressed concerns that the deal could result in reduced choice for consumers and higher prices. It has given Arçelik until October 5 to provide solutions to address these concerns. If the acquisition proceeded, the merged company would become the largest individual supplier of washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, and cooking appliances in the UK market.

Arçelik is already one of the largest home appliance manufacturers in Europe, with its value-focused Beko brand holding a strong position in the British market. In January, the company reached an agreement to take control of three-quarters of a joint venture that combines Arçelik’s European business with that of Whirlpool. The merger would create a European appliances powerhouse with €6bn in annual revenue and 20,000 employees, giving Arçelik control over 14 Whirlpool-owned production facilities. This potential deal has drawn attention from the CMA due to the market dominance the merged company would hold in the low to mid-range price categories, where competition is already limited.

Arçelik has stated that it remains in close collaboration with the CMA and is committed to addressing the regulator’s concerns regarding the merger with Whirlpool Europe. The EU competition authority has set a deadline of October 23 to make a ruling on the deal. Arçelik’s CEO, Hakan Bulgurlu, believes that consolidation is a natural progression in the appliance industry, and he envisions only a handful of companies emerging as winners in the long term. The outcome of the CMA’s investigation and the EU competition authority’s ruling will determine the fate of the potential acquisition. Arçelik’s shares remained relatively unaffected by the news.

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