The acquisition of United Biscuit’s KP Snacks business by German manufacturer Intersnack is being investigated by The Competition Authority in Ireland.

The announcement of the acquisition by Intersnack International, a subsidiary of Top Snacks Limited, was announced in December 2012, and the transaction was notified under the Competition Act.

The Competition Authority has now announced it has entered into a full investigation (phase 2), following concerns over competition in the savoury snacks sector.

It said that following a preliminary investigation, it was unable to conclude that the acquisition will not substantially lessen competition in markets for goods or services in the state without a full investigation being carried out.

According to a spokesperson for the Authority, most mergers and acquisitions are approved within the initial phase 1 period, which generally lasts around one month.

Interested parties have until Wednesday 20 March 2013, to make submissions. The Authority has until 29 May 2013 to make a final decision.

Top Snacks produces a range of food, beverages and other products, including a range of savoury snacks which it distributes throughout Europe.