On 12 July 2016 the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf nullified a decision of the Germans economy ministry to allow the country's biggest supermarket group Edeka to buy grocery store chain Kaiser's, owned by retail group Tengelmann.
Germany's economy ministry had granted special permission for the merger on the condition that no jobs were lost, but the higher regional court of Duesseldorf said the decision was void as protecting workers was not equivalent to the public interest.
Before Germany`s federal cartel office prohibited the acquisition of around 450 Kaiser's Tengelmann outlets by EDEKA. In the authority's view the project would have considerably wors-ened competition conditions on a large number of highly concentrated regional markets and in mu-nicipal districts in greater Berlin, Munich, Upper Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. The takeover of Kaiser's Tengelmann would have greatly limited choice for local consumers and the possibilities for them to switch to another retailer. The elimination of an important competitor would also have given the remaining competitors greater leaway for raising prices in future.
The ruling of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf isssued a temporary order. The final decision is still outstanding but will be likely on the same line.