The Netherlands merger control
Produced in partnership with Van Doorne
The Netherlands merger control

The following Competition practice note produced in partnership with Van Doorne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Netherlands merger control
  • 1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the Dutch merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other ‘hot’ merger control issues with the ACM?
  • 2. Under Dutch merger control provisions, is the control test the same as the EU concept of ‘decisive influence’? If not, how does it differ and what is the position in relation to 'minority shareholdings'?
  • 3. Are joint ventures caught by the national merger control provisions (including non-structural, cooperative joint ventures)?
  • 4. What are the merger control thresholds and would purely foreign-to-foreign transaction be caught?
  • 5. Are there any specific issues parties should be aware of when compiling and calculating the relevant turnover for applying the jurisdictional thresholds?
  • 6. Where the jurisdictional thresholds are met, is notification mandatory and must closing be suspended pending clearance?
  • 7. Is there any discretion to review transactions that fall below the notification thresholds?
  • 8. Is it possible to close the deal globally prior to local clearance?
  • 9. What is the timetable for review of a notifiable transaction by the ACM?
  • More...

The Netherlands merger control

A conversation with Sarah Beeston, partner and head of European and Competition practice at Dutch law firm Van Doorne N.V., on key issues on merger control in the Netherlands.

NOTE–to see whether notification thresholds in the Netherlands and throughout the world are met, see Where to Notify.

1. Have there been any recent developments regarding the Dutch merger control regime and are any updates/developments expected in the coming year? Are there any other ‘hot’ merger control issues with the ACM?

In September 2019 the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy took a decision allowing a merger for which the ACM had previously denied a licence. This is the first time that the government has made use of such power. The merger concerned the two biggest postal services providers in the Netherlands with a joint market share of 93%.

The ACM refused to grant a licence following an in-depth investigation. It found that the merger would lead to price increases which would not be outweighed by benefits. It found that the merger was not necessary to allow PostNL to fulfil its universal service obligation. The Secretary of State took the view, however, that the merger was necessary to ensure the continuity of reliable, accessible and affordable postal services throughout the Netherlands. It would at the same time ensure job security for thousands

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