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Dutch Enforcer Blocks Waste Processing Merger

 |  May 24, 2023

The ACM has ruled against Afvalprocessing Rijnmond’s acquisition of AEB, a waste processing company in Amsterdam.

The ACM stated that if the acquisition is permitted, it may result in higher prices and increased household waste processing costs due to the creation of a powerful company.

“Municipalities in the provinces of Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Utrecht, in particular, would have to pay more after the merger of these companies,” said ACM board chair Martijn Snoep. He explained that there are not enough alternatives to AEB and AVR in the west of the country.

“And it costs more money to transport household waste to waste processors further away. The AVR/AEB combination could therefore increase the prices for the processing of household waste. For people in those municipalities, the waste levy would then rise.”

AVR made a bid of 450 million euros for the Amsterdam firm, which experienced significant challenges in 2019, including maintenance delays and internal conflicts. As a result, the company had to close four of its six incinerators, leading to a buildup of waste from clients in Amsterdam and other regions of the country.

The municipality provided financial assistance to AEB multiple times in order to maintain its operations, ultimately leading to the decision to sell the company.