Whirlpool had previously disclosed that it intended to sell its Middle East and Africa business to Arcelik. Additionally, it revealed plans to merge its major domestic appliance business in Europe with Arcelik, resulting in the formation of a new jointly owned company. This entity would encompass major domestic appliances, consumer electronics, air conditioning, and small domestic appliances.
The CMA has determined that the deal could potentially lead to a significant reduction in competition within the washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, and cooking appliances markets. These categories collectively represent a market worth over £3.8 billion ($4.61 billion) in the U.K.
Arcelik is a prominent global supplier of home appliances and consumer electronics, boasting well-known brands such as Beko and Grundig. On the other hand, Whirlpool is a leading provider of a comprehensive range of domestic appliances, including Hotpoint and Indesit.
According to the regulator, if the merger proceeds, the combined company will become the largest individual supplier of washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, and cooking appliances. Of particular concern is the potential impact on the low to mid-range price segments of these product categories, where Arcelik and Whirlpool currently face limited competition.
The CMA fears that reduced competition could lead to higher prices or a decline in choice and quality for consumers. However, the regulator has determined that the deal will not result in a substantial reduction in competition for refrigerators and freezers in the U.K.
The CMA has given Arcelik and Whirlpool until October 5th to propose remedies to address its concerns regarding the merger.