Day care providers Kidsfoundation and Partou are cleared to merge on the condition they sell three locations
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the merger between day care providers Kidsfoundation and Partou. Both Kidsfoundation and Partou provide day care and after-school care. Kidsfoundation is primarily active under the name Smallsteps. ACM does attach a condition to this merger: the providers must sell three day care locations in Amsterdam. In that way, sufficient competition will remain in the day care market.
ACM’s merger assessments
Parents opt for day care facilities that are preferably as close as possible to their homes or schools. That is why ACM has looked into this merger’s consequences for the supply of day care services in very local markets. There are 16 locations in Amsterdam where ACM sees potential anticompetitive problems after the merger, because, with regard to those locations, parents would be left with little to choose from. This may lead to higher prices and reduced quality of day care. By selling these locations, the providers are able to solve this problem. ACM must clear the buyer of the locations in advance. With the sale of these three locations, it is ensured that sufficient competition will remain.
ACM’s merger control
ACM enforces fair competition between businesses. When assessing mergers or acquisitions, ACM examines in advance whether the businesses that wish to merge will not gain so strong a position that it is able to raise prices, reduce quality or stifle innovation without any problems. If such is the case however, ACM will block the merger. That is how ACM ensures that markets continue to work well for people and businesses.
More in this case
24-01-2020 Day care providers Kidsfoundation and Partou are cleared to merge on the condition they sell three locations (concentration decision) (in Dutch)
23-12-2019 Day care providers Kidsfoundation and Partou are cleared to merge on the condition they sell three locations (final notification) (in Dutch)
06-06-2019 Onex and Waterland wish to acquire both KidsFoundation and Partou (concentration notification) (in Dutch)