Gas company Benegas wishes to acquire rival company Primagaz Nederland. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has come to the conclusion that a further investigation is needed into the potential market for lightweight gas bottles. ACM wishes to make sure that sufficient competition will remain in the market after the acquisition.
Both companies supply propane gas to businesses and consumers. They sell propane gas in bulk storage tanks and in gas bottles. Propane gas is used for various purposes. For example, bulk propane gas is used for heating purposes for homes, construction cabins, and buildings. Propane gas in bottles is used, for example, by roofers, or by campers for cooking, but also for patio heaters and barbecues.
ACM has established that, after the acquisition, sufficient competition will remain with regard to the selling and supply of bulk propane gas. ACM wishes to investigate in particular whether, in the leisure segment, sufficient competition will remain for smaller and lighter gas bottles.
What are the next steps?
If both companies decide to continue with their acquisition plans, and file an application for an acquisition license with ACM, ACM will launch a follow-up investigation into the effects of this planned acquisition. In a follow-up investigation, ACM will, among other steps, ask further questions to market participants and consumers about the potential consequences of this acquisition.
How does ACM assess mergers and acquisitions?
With any merger or acquisition, there is a question of whether sufficient competition will remain on that market after the concentration, and in the future. Competition ensures that products are of high quality, that they are offered on the market at competitive prices, and that innovation is stimulated. That is why ACM decides in advance whether or not companies are allowed to merge or acquire other companies. ACM assesses whether the markets involved will continue to work well for people and businesses, now as well as in the future.