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Commission finds no competition concerns in Santander acquisition of Banco Popular

The European Commission has found that Santander's proposed acquisition of Banco Popular will not raise competition concerns, allowing a resolution scheme proposed by the Single Resolution Board (SRB) to go ahead.09 Aug 2017

The SRB resolution, involving the purchase of all shares and capital instruments of the Spanish bank by Santander for €1, was proposed in June after the European Central Bank decided that Banco Popular was 'failing or likely to fail' in accordance with the EU's Single Resolution Mechanism.

The resolution was approved by the Commission in June.

However, the Commission's approval was dependent on a further investigation into the transaction's impact on the markets for retail and corporate banking, leasing, factoring and the provision of ATM services in the Portuguese and Spanish national and regional markets.

That investigation has now found that the transaction will not raise competition concerns as the parties' combined market shares are generally below 25% and strong competitors will remain in all affected markets, the Commission said.

The decision is the final step by the Commission clearing the acquisition.