Brattle advised Nynas, a European specialty oils manufacturer, in the analysis of competition issues arising from its acquisition of an oil refinery from Shell. We assisted Nynas throughout the Phase II EC investigation that entailed defining the relevant geographic and product markets by analyzing the relative price movements of specialty oils in different geographic markets and between naphthenic and paraffinic substitutes. Application of the “small but significant and non-transitory increase in price” (SSNIP) test to the identified markets indicated that our client could not maintain a 10% price increase after the acquisition, as refineries in Europe could profitably compete within that price range, and customers would have incentive to switch to alternative oil products. Our analysis was presented to the European Commission which cleared the merger, without remedies, following an in-depth Phase II investigation.

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