The European Commission has announced the opening of an investigation into the proposed acquisition of TeleAtlas by TomTom because it believes that the deal could be detrimental to competition in the European market.
In this sense, Brussels has until 17 April 2008 to decide whether to authorize the merger or to veto the deal due to the risks it entails, the EC states in a statement.
In the same text, the community executive recalls that TomTom is the European leader in vehicle navigation systems, while TeleAtlas is one of the only manufacturers of digital maps that offers complete coverage of Europe and North America – as does Navteq.
Given the duopoly in the digital map market and TomTom’s strong position in the navigation systems segment, the Commission fears that the deal will create a dominant company that limits healthy competition in the market in question.
Given the situation, the investigation will focus on assessing the operational effects that the merger will bring, that is, whether the costs of the maps will increase for other navigation system producers or whether their access will be limited, harming consumers.
2007-07-23 – TomTom offers 2 billion euros for Tele Atlas