EU Commission: Schwarz is allowed to take over waste companies

According to a decision by the EU competition watchdog, the Schwarz Group (Lidl, Kaufland) is allowed to take over certain companies of the Suez waste management company in Germany and other countries, subject to certain conditions. The prerequisite is that Suez's entire light packaging sorting business in the Netherlands is sold, as the EU Commission announced on Wednesday. The Schwarz Group has been pushing the garbage market for a long time.

"Competition at all levels of the recycling chain is important for a more circular economy and the achievement of the goals of the Green Deal," said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "With the sale of the Suez sorting plant in the Netherlands, the takeover can be completed while maintaining effective competition in the market for sorting plastic waste in the Netherlands."

Specifically, the merger involves the takeover of certain Suez companies in Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland. According to the EU Commission, both Schwarz and Suez are leaders in sorting lightweight packaging from the Netherlands. As a result, the Authority raised concerns that the proposed acquisition, in its original form, could restrict competition in this area in the Netherlands.

The Schwarz Group with its discounter giant Lidl and the Kaufland department store chain has been involved in the waste market since 2018. With its own dual system - as a packaging licenser - it competed with the market leader DSD with its Grüner Punkt brand. By entering the market through its subsidiary Prezero, the retail group put the entire waste management industry under pressure.