The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has given Dutch telecom company KPN the green light to acquire four service providers (SPs) of Reggeborgh: Concepts ICT, XMS, Edutel and KickXL. These four SPs, as well as KPN, offer television, internet and fixed telephony services to consumers through Reggefiber’s optical fiber network. Reggefiber is a joint venture of KPN and Reggeborgh.
KPN not only competes with service providers through Reggefiber’s optical fiber network, but also with cable companies and various other providers through the copper network. Furthermore, consumers can switch providers regardless of whether they offer their services through optical fibers, copper or cable. All providers offer a comparable selection of television stations. So enough competition is expected to remain in the market after the acquisition.
This case is an example of where the NMa’s oversight efforts and the Netherlands Independent Telecommunications and Post Authority’s (OPTA) regulatory efforts come together. Our combined efforts result in the fact that KPN’s competitors will be able to access KPN’s copper network, as well as to Reggefiber’s optical fiber network. This means that they are able to offer consumers their own services, and it means that, besides the cable companies, multiple providers compete with KPN, such as Tele2, Vodafone and T-Mobile.
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.