Hungary's competition watchdog cleared the merger of Hungarian online electronics retailer Extreme Digital with eMAG, a unit of South Africa's Naspers group on October 17, creating one of the largest online retail networks in Central and Eastern Europe.
GVH said the merger would not reduce competition on the market for the sale of electronic goods by a significant degree, adding that the merged companies' market share would still be under 20%.
Extreme Digital and eMAG announced in March plans to merge into an entity in which eMAG holds a 52% stake and Extreme Digital a 48% stake. The companies' combined revenue is expected to reach around HUF70bn (€210mn) a year.
The merger will pave the way for eMag’s to enter into five new regional markets where Extreme Digital is already present: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Besides Hungary eMag currently operates in Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.
Online sales in Hungary are growing at a pace three-fold that of retail sales, around 17-18% and accounted for 4.5% of total retail sales turnover last year. According to eNet Internet Researcher, online retail sales in Hungary reached HUF1tn last year.
Hungarian webshops made up only half of the amount, as price-conscious customers are turning to foreign retailers such as Amazon or Chinese Alibaba.