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EU approves Mars' purchase of AniCura, subject to conditions

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By Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Monday it had approved the acquisition by U.S. pet food maker Mars Petcare of European veterinary business AniCura, subject to conditions.

The Commission said it had examined in its investigation the effects of the proposed transaction on the retail market of dietetic pet food sold by veterinarians.

The EU executive, which oversees competition policy, said it was concerned that Mars might in future be able to shut out its dietetic pet food competitors from retail channels, namely the AniCura clinics and the VetFamily member clinics.

Mars offered to divest VetFamily, a purchasing organisation for independent veterinary clinics, as a whole in Europe.

The Commission said this commitment addressed its concerns as they would reduce Mars’ influence on retail channels in Denmark and Sweden.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)