The Authority stated in its decision that Gefleortens does not exert any significant competitive pressure on Arla today, and therefore the merger is not judged to hamper competition in the Swedish dairy market.
In February 2017, Gefleortens announced it was looking for a partner, and negotiations with Arla were revealed in May.
Thomas Lundgren, chairman of Gefleorten's dairy association, said he was happy and relieved by the decision.
He said the company’s goal was to secure stable and long-term conditions for members’ milk production, while at the same time growing and evolving the dairy and the brand.
Farmers can join Arla
All the dairy farmers in the Gefleortens cooperative now have the opportunity to become members of Arla’s dairy cooperative, owned by jointly by 11,200 dairy farmers across Europe.
Gefleortens produced 1.6% of the total milk in Sweden, and is owned by 68 dairy farmers in Gästrikland, northern Uppland and Dalarna.
Arla Foods chairman Åke Hantoft said the company sees a need for more Swedish milk in the coming years, both conventional milk and organic.
He said adding Gefleortens to the Arla cooperative would be an important step in realizing this ambition.
Work will begin to integrate Gefleortens into Arla, with Gefleortens staff becoming employed by Arla while it takes over the brand as well as the ownership and operation of the dairy in Gävle.