Cartel Court prohibits Novomatic takeover of Casinos Austria

The planned merger between Novomatic and Casinos Austria was prohibited by the Cartel Court because it would limit competition.

Austria.- The Austrian Cartel Court blocked Novomatic’s plans to takeover Casinos Austria as it deemed the merger would negatively affect competition.

Novomatic on its part, reserves the option to take legal steps against the court’s decision. In the event the company should decide to proceed, it would have to occur within a 4-week deadline.

The gambling firm accused Austrian competition watchdog of setting excessively tough conditions for the planned merger. However, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (BWB) believes that the set of conditions proposed would be economically feasible.

According to BWB’s spokesperson, Novomatic’s share in “problematic market segments” would rise to 68-100 percent if the merger succeeds. She also stressed that the authority have not even demanded the sale of the Czech gambling casinos by Novomatic.

Novomatic has secured a nearly 40-percent stake in partly state-owned Casinos Austria and planned to take over control jointly with a Czech consortium that currently owns more than 11 percent in Casinos Austria.