ACM clears acquisition of educational institution TIO by rival institution NCOI


Dutch educational institution NCOI is allowed to acquire rival institution TIO University of Applied Sciences. Both TIO and NCOI offer professional courses, as well as accredited vocational programs at the upper secondary-education and higher-education levels (in the Dutch educational system: MBO and HBO levels). The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared this acquisition because these institutions offer education to different target audiences. TIO primarily offers full-time programs to under 25-year olds, whereas NCOI predominantly offers part-time programs to over 25-year olds. As these two institutions target different audiences, they hardly compete with one another (or not even at all), which means competition will not be reduced if NCOI acquires TIO.

ACM is still assessing the acquisition of educational institution LOI by NCOI. In the assessment of that acquisition, ACM will take into account the results of the acquisition of TIO by NCOI.

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, right after the concentration as well as in the future. Competition ensures that products are of high quality, and that they are offered on the market at competitive prices. That is why ACM decides in advance whether or not companies are allowed to join forces. ACM assesses whether the markets involved will continue to work well for people and businesses after that transaction.

More in this case

14-02-2020 NCOI wishes to acquire Tio University of Applied Sciences and Tio Teach (concentration notification) (in Dutch)