UK watchdog to probe deeper into Arcelik’s European deal with Whirlpool

(Reuters) -Britain’s antitrust regulator said on Thursday Turkish domestic appliances maker Arcelik’s proposed purchase of Whirlpool’s appliances business in Europe will be referred for a more in-depth probe.

The deal could reduce choices in the supply of major household appliances and will be referred for a so-called phase-2 investigation unless Arcelik addresses its concerns, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement.

The deal would include Arcelik and Whirlpool setting up a new entity comprising the two companies’ European units, selling small and major domestic appliances and consumer electronics, the two announced in January.

Arcelik would own 75% of the company and Whirlpool the remaining 25%.

If the deal were to go ahead, the new entity would be the largest individual supplier of washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and cooking appliances in the UK, where the market is worth over 3.8 billion pounds ($4.61 billion), the CMA said.

“Arcelik and Whirlpool’s position is particularly strong in the low to mid-range price categories of these domestic appliances, where they would face competition from only a small number of competitors,” it added.

($1 = 0.8241 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)