Bundeskartellamt approves takeover of messages in a bottle –

The Federal Cartel Office has given the Radeberger brewery group, which is part of the Oetker Group, the green light to take over the online beverage delivery service in a bottle. “When it comes to retailing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, the Radeberger Group and Message in a Bottle only have harmless market shares,” said the Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt on Wednesday in Bonn.

Oetker announced its plans to take over the rapidly growing beverage delivery service in early November. According to information from “Deutsche”, the purchase price is one billion euros. Oetker himself did not provide any information.

With the acquisition, Oetker strengthens its beverages division. The group includes, among others, Germany’s largest brewery group, Radeberger, and the sparkling wine brands Henkell and Freixenet. In addition, the Radeberger Group is the largest operator of beverage takeaway markets that is independent from the food retail sector. The company operates more than 500 beverage pick-up markets and its own online beverage delivery service The start-up Bottle Post, founded in 2016, claims that it now delivers drinks to customers in 23 cities within 120 minutes.

Buying from beverage delivery services, which is increasingly being done via online orders and cashless payments, is currently strong. However, the Federal Cartel Office does not see any competition problems from the takeover. In Germany, more than 80 percent of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are still bought by customers in general food retailing, including discounters. Even after the merger, Oetker and Bottle Post will only have a market share of less than 5 percent, according to the competition authorities.


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