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Estonian Competition Authority prohibited the acquisition by Estravel Holding OÜ of Public Limited Company Wris

On 15 August 2019, the Estonian Competition Authority prohibited the acquisition by Estravel Holding OÜ of Public Limited Company Wris as it would negatively affect competition in the travel agency market (retail of travel services). The parties to the concentration are close competitors of each other and the concentration would eliminate the competitive pressure between them. 

Even before the concentration, Estravel Holding OÜ's subsidiary Public Limited Company ESTRAVEL has the largest market share in the market for the services provided by travel agencies, and in the event of concentration, the combined market share of the parties would be significantly higher than that of the next largest player in the goods market. The concentration would strengthen the position of Estravel Holding OÜ, which in turn would allow the company to act in a manner that restricts competition. 

While private travelers are more flexible in their choices and not all private individuals may use the services of travel agents, business customers (including public authorities) purchase travel services from a travel agent offering a wide range of services, and tenders are often organized to purchase the service. The number of undertakings participating in tenders is already relatively small prior to the concentration and would therefore be particularly affected by the concentration.

In the course of the proceedings, the Agency interviewed a number of travel companies, gathered information on goods markets and as a result of a thorough analysis, decided to prohibit the concentration.