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EU green lights Acer-PB deal

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 29 February 2008

The European Commission has given its approval for PC giant Acer to take over Dutch PC maker Packard Bell after studying the deal for one month. Europe’s leading competition authority concluded that the deal ‘would not significantly impede effective competition’.

The deal marks another significant consolidation event in the evolution of the EMEA PC market. With the number of PC vendors reducing through consolidation, there is a clear impact on channel relationships within the EMEA theatre.

Alternative suppliers

“The commission’s examination showed that the proposed merger would entail horizontal overlaps for desktops and laptops, both for professionals and consumers. However, the market would remain competitive post-merger in all segments of the PC sector with established alternative suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, Sony and Lenovo,” the Commission concluded.

Taiwan-based vendor giant Acer announced at the end of January that it would purchase a 75% stake in PB Holdings, the parent company of Packard Bell, for US$45.8m. In 2007, Gateway, which had just been snapped up by Acer for a cool US$710m, had agreed to acquire a majority stake in PB Holdings.

Industry commentators reckon that Acer’s pursuit of Packard Bell was also important inasmuch as it prevented Chinese rival Lenovo from snapping up the PC maker to expand its footprint in the European market. Big is beautiful in the low margin PC and notebook market with size and scale driving vendor success in today’s consolidated landscape.

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May, 2021

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