Kronospan's remedies did not address concerns on Polish deal, EU's Vestager says

FILE PHOTO: Interview of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Austrian wood panel maker Kronospan failed to allay EU antitrust concerns over its bid for German wood maker Pfleiderer's Polish unit, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday after the companies scrapped the deal.

The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the deal in April and had subsequently planned to veto it, a person familiar with the matter said.

The EU competition enforcer said remedies offered by Kronospan failed to ease its concerns over the creation of a dominant player in the raw and melamine-coated particleboards markets in Poland and the Baltics.

"Our in-depth investigation showed that the proposed transaction would negatively affect competition in these markets, leading to higher prices, reduced quality or less choice for customers," Vestager said in a statement.

"As the remedies offered by Kronospan did not address our competition concerns, we could not clear the transaction. We take note of Kronospan's decision to abandon their deal," she said.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)