Monday, 01 March 2021 10:10

Decision 725/2021

Clearance by the Hellenic Competition Commission of the concentration, notified under Ref. No 10862/18.12.2020, concerning the acquisition of sole control by “OPAP SA” over the Greek and Cypriot activities of “Kaizen Gaming International Ltd” (former GML Interactive Malta Ltd), according to Article 6 of Law 3959/2011 

Decision 725/2021
File (PDF) Decision 725/2021
Date of Publication of Decision March 1st 2021
Issue Number of Government Bulletin
Relevant Market 

1) Online sports betting – activity by both parties.

2) Sports games requiring specialised knowledge (landline) – activity solely by OPAP, which holds a monopoly position due to an exclusive right.

3) Landline lottery market - activity solely by OPAP, which holds a monopoly position due to an exclusive right.

4) Online traditional lottery – activity solely by OPAP, through its recent market entry with Joker. OPAP holds a monopoly position due to an exclusive right.

5) State lottery - activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary Hellenic Lotteries SA, holding a monopoly position due to an exclusive right.

6) Landline Horse-race betting - activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary Horse Races SA, holding a monopoly position due to an exclusive right with effect until 2035.

7) Virtual betting – activity solely by Stoiximan. 

8) Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) (landline) - activity solely by OPAP.

9) Online casino-style gaming with the exception of poker games – activity solely by Stoiximan. 

10) Online poker games – activity solely by Stoiximan. 

11) Organisation and conduct of horse-races – activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary. 

12) Broadcasting rights for horse-racing events – activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary.

13) E-vouchers distribution and resale – activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary Tora Direct.

14) Online payments – activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary Tora Wallet.

15) Provision of cyber security services and risk management systems for sports betting – activity solely by OPAP, through its subsidiary Neurosoft.

Subject of the Decision Merger
Legal Framework Article 6 L. 3959/2011
Operative part of the Decision  

The Hellenic Competition Commission unanimously: 

“approved, pursuant to Art. 8(3) of Greek Law 3959/2011, the proposed transaction notified on 18.12.2020 (under ref. no. 10862) concerning the acquisition by OPAP SA, through its wholly-owned subsidiary under the name OPAP Investment Limited, of sole control over the online betting and other online gaming activities of KAIZEN GAMING INTERNATIONAL LTD in Greece and Cyprus under the trade name «Stoiximan». The notified transaction, although falling within the scope of Art. 6(1) of L. 3959/2011, does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with merger control rules in the relevant markets concerned by the concentration”.

Company(ies) concerned  OPAP SA
Summary of Decision

The concentration under examination consists in the change of the quality of control over the target company from joint to sole control. The companies concerned are actual competitors, as they operate in the same relevant market, namely the online sports betting market, and therefore the transaction in question is a horizontal concentration. OPAP and STOIXIMAN BUSINESS effectively operate in the market as two separate entities. According to the common practice in cases where a concentration consisting of the acquisition of joint control has already been thoroughly assessed for its effects on competition, it is considered that a possible subsequent change from joint to sole control is not likely to raise novel issues requiring further analysis. In this regard, the effects of the acquisition of joint control by the undertakings concerned have already been assessed in the context of HCC Decision no. 693/2019. Moreover, the evidence of the case file shows that OPAP will pursue distinct business strategies for the two online platforms with different management teams, which of course leads to the conclusion that the new entity that will emerge from the current merger does not seek the bundling of all or most of its online games on a single platform.

Judicial Means -
Decisions by the Court of Appeal of Athens (Administrative Division) -
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