A PYMNTS Company

Small Mergers, Big Problems

 |  November 17, 2023

By: Martijn Snoep (Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers & Markets)

With over 25 years of the Dutch Competition Act being in force,  the law has effectively addressed most types of competition problems. However, two discernible gaps exist in its scope. The first gap pertains to competition issues arising not from illegal practices but from, for instance, an implicit agreement among companies to align with each other’s price increases. In a previous blog, the author advocated for the introduction of a new statutory tool to address this gap, akin to the European market investigation tool or the New Competition Tool (NCT).

The second gap focuses on small acquisitions that do not require notification to the ACM and evade assessment, yet still contribute to competition problems. In this blog post, Martijn Snoep discusses the latter gap and concludes that there are valid reasons to address it through amendments to the Dutch Competition Act, empowering the ACM to intervene in suspected small acquisitions causing competition issues, subjecting them to regular procedural assessments…