The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the acquisition of telecom operator Simpel by rival operator T-Mobile. Over its fixed and mobile networks, T-Mobile offers consumers various services, such as telephony, broadband access, and TV. Simpel sells mobile-telecom services, such as sim-only plans for mobile phones. For its mobile-telecom services, Simpel uses T-Mobile’s network, as do several other operators.
ACM’s investigation has shown that this acquisition does not create any anticompetitive concerns. This acquisition will not have a significant impact on the competitive landscape in the market for mobile-telecom services. The investigation has also shown that, after the acquisition, T-Mobile will continue to face sufficient competition from telecom operators KPN, VodafoneZiggo, and various telecom operators without networks of their own. As a result, consumers will be able to switch providers easily.
ACM has also assessed whether, after the acquisition, telecom operators with mobile networks of their own will continue to have the incentive to offer access to telecom operators without networks of their own. Telecom operators without networks of their own are dependent on the operator of the network on which they are active. Furthermore, they compete with the network operators for the same customers. ACM’s investigation has shown that, after the acquisition, telecom operators with networks of their own continue to have sufficient incentives to offer wholesale access to their networks. This acquisition of an operator without a network of its own by an operator with a network of its own hardly changes this.
ACM’s concentration control: mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures
With any merger, acquisition, or joint venture, there is a question of whether sufficient competition will remain on that market. Competition ensures that products are of high quality, and that they are offered on the market at competitive prices. It also promotes innovation. That is why ACM assesses in advance whether or not companies are allowed to merge or go through with an acquisition. ACM examines whether the markets involved will continue to work well for people and businesses after the merger or acquisition, now and in the future.
17-11-2020 ACM clears acquisition of Simpel by T-Mobile (concentration decision) (in Dutch)
17-11-2020 ACM clears acquisition of Simpel by T-Mobile (final notification) (in Dutch)
21-10-2020 T-Mobile wishes to acquire Simpel (concentration notification) (in Dutch)