In December 2017, the FCCA approved the acquisition of Stockmann Group’s Delicatessen business by Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta, SOK (The Central Finnish Cooperative Society), HOK-Elanto Liiketoiminta Oy, Pirkanmaan Osuuskauppa, Turun osuuskauppa and Meira Nova Oy subject to certain conditions. The FCCA decided to initiate further proceedings concerning the acquisition in September 2017.
As a result of the acquisition, the Finnish grocery market consolidated even further. According to the FCCA’s investigation, however, effective competition will not be significantly impeded. Based on the agency's economic analysis, the acquisition will not lead to price increases or lower the quality, assortment, or service of Stockmann Delicatessen or the S Group stores in its vicinity. In addition, the resulting savings in the purchase and logistics costs of Stockmann Delicatessen stores will reduce the adverse competition effects of the acquisition.
Furthermore, according to an extensive survey (in Finnish) conducted by the FCCA, the role of S Group as a competitor to Stockmann has never been as strong as its market share might have indicated. In addition, the competitive pressure caused by Stockmann Delicatessen on S Group has been negligible.
Products sold at Stockmann Delicatessen stores are purchased through Tuko Logistics Osuuskunta. As a result of the business acquisition, the purchasing market of the grocery sector consolidated even further, while strengthening the position of the market leader SOK and causing adjustment difficulties for Tuko, which, in practice, has been the only independent wholesaler offering an alternative to SOK and Kesko Food. As a condition for the approval of the acquisition, the FCCA required that Stockmann Delicatessen continue to make its purchases from Tuko until 31 December 2018.