Autorité de la concurrence gave its nod to a vertical merger in avionics market

The French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence/ALC) has cleared the proposed acquisition of Cobham Aerospace (Cobham) by Thales Group (Thales). The acquirer – Thales, operates in space, land transport and in particular in aeronautics & in avionics market; whereas, the target – Cobham develops & produces in-flight communication & connectivity products. Avionics are range of in-flight communications & navigation related electronic equipment located inside the aircraft’s cockpit, mainly an input for aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus etc. ALC noted that communication systems manufactured by Cobham are used as input for manufacturing of avionics suite by Thales; however, noting the limited number of overlapping markets with significant market shares, presence of competitors & countervailing buyer power of consumer, did not see likelihood of any harm to competition.