NMa to Investigate Further the Merger of Schuitema and Sperwer
The Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) today decided that a licence is required for the merger of the supermarket organisations Schuitema and Sperwer. After an initial investigation, NMa concluded provisionally that a position of power could emerge or be strengthened on the market for the sale of daily consumer goods through supermarkets as a result of the planned merger. The parties also have a strong position on the market for the procurement of daily consumer goods and on the market for offering supermarket franchise services. Actual competition on these markets could be significantly obstructed as a result of this merger.
As a wholesaler, Schuitema supplies goods and services to 443 independent supermarket companies. These companies mainly operate C1000 stores. As a voluntary chain store Sperwer is active in the supermarket sector and supplies goods and services to 265 affiliated independent companies with the supermarket formulas Plusmarkt, Garantmarkt and Gastrovino (delicatessens). Ahold owns 73% of the shares of Schuitema and consequently controls Schuitema, in the opinion of NMa. For this reason in its analysis NMa considers Ahold and Schuitema to be a single entity.
Ahold's considerable market share (including Schuitema) on the market for the sale of daily consumer goods through supermarkets and the structure of this market in the Netherlands gave NMa reason to assume that a position of economic power may arise or be strengthened as a result of this merger. In the further investigation these aspects will be the subject of further research, as will the position of the parties on the procurement market for daily consumer goods and their position on the market for offering supermarket franchise services.