The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has cleared the acquisition of 82 locations of Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo by rival supermarket chain Ahold. In addition, Coop, another rival supermarket chain, is allowed to acquire 54 Jumbo locations. In a previous decision, the NMa had ordered Jumbo to sell 18 locations in order to have its acquisition of supermarket chain C1ooo cleared. These 18 locations are part of the abovementioned acquisitions.
Coop is allowed to acquire the 54 Jumbo locations on the condition that it sells its location in the northern rural town of Schoonebeek to a competitor first. Coop can then acquire the C1000-location from Jumbo in that town. This condition guarantees that consumers in Schoonebeek will have enough options after the acquisition. With regard to Ahold’s acquisition of the 82 Jumbo locations, the NMa has not found any antitrust concerns at a local level. In the post-acquisition situation, local market shares are not expected to exceed 50% (based on turnover or floor area). In addition, enough competitors are active in these markets. At a national level, the NMa does not expect either of these acquisitions to cause any antitrust concerns. National market shares of Ahold and Coop will only marginally increase, and strong competitors remain active.
On January 1, 2013, the NMa will merge with the Netherlands Consumer Authority and the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority of the Netherlands (OPTA), creating a new authority: The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This new authority aims to ensure that markets work in order to protect consumer interests. To this end, the ACM will focus on three main themes: consumer protection, industry-specific regulation, and competition oversight.