Further investigation needed into Dutch educational institution NCOI’s acquisition of rival institution LOI


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has not yet cleared the acquisition of Dutch educational institution Leidse Onderwijsinstellingen (LOI) by rival educational institution Nederlands Commercieel Opleidingsinstituut (NCOI). Both NCOI and LOI 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). Further investigation is needed into the effects that this acquisition will have on the price and quality of their offerings, according to ACM.

ACM needs to conduct a further investigation in order to determine exactly in what areas the acquisition will have an effect on competition, and what those effects will be. In that context, it needs to be assessed whether there are any effects on different submarkets, such as full-time or part-time programs, accredited or unaccredited programs, classroom or remote education, programs with or without student finance or requirements from the government, or different disciplines.

What are the next steps?

If NCOI wishes to acquire LOI, they will have to apply for a license with ACM. In the follow-up investigation, ACM will assess the possible effects of this acquisition on the educational market and professional courses market. NCOI has informed ACM that they intend to apply for such a license.

ACM’s concentration control

With any merger or acquisition, an investigation is needed into 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. 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 information about this case

20-11-2019 NCOI wishes to acquire Onderwijs Groep Nederland (LOI) (concentration notification) (in Dutch)