The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided that a further investigation is needed into the acquisition of holiday village park chain Landal by rival chain Roompot. Roompot is the largest operator of holiday village parks in the Netherlands, while Landal is the second largest. A further investigation should focus on the planned acquisition’s consequences for consumers and owners of holiday accommodations.
Together, Roompot and Landal have a large number of holiday village parks, particularly in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium and Germany. In addition, other owners of holiday accommodations are able to have Roompot or Landal promote or manage their accommodations. Other major holiday village park chains in the Netherlands include Center Parcs and EuroParcs.
Further investigation needed
The planned acquisition may lead to Roompot and Landal gaining too strong a position on the market for holiday parks in the Netherlands. A further investigation is therefore needed to determine whether Roompot and Landal will be able to raise the prices of their holiday accommodations as a result of that acquisition.
In addition, Roompot and Landal are the most important providers of services for holiday parks owned by others. For example, Roompot and Landal provide rental services, marketing services, and management services. That is why an investigation is also needed in order to assess whether Roompot and Landal are able to raise the prices of these services or to reduce the quality thereof.
What are the next steps?
Roompot and Landal will now have to decide whether or not they wish to go through with the acquisition. If they do, they will have to apply for a license for the acquisition. Once they have done so, ACM will assess, among other aspects, what the consequences are for consumers if they wish to book a holiday accommodation in the Netherlands after the acquisition. The key question is how much competitive pressure Roompot and Landal currently exert on each other, and what competitive pressure Roompot and Landal experience from other operators of holiday parks and holiday accommodations.
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 transaction 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. 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.