Article 29 of the Dutch Competition Act specifies when a concentration of undertakings requires prior notification to the ACM.

A concentration is subject to notification and prior approval where:

  • the combined turnover of all parties involved in the proposed concentration in the previous calendar year exceeded €150 million and
  • at the same time, at least two parties to the proposed concentration separately achieved a turnover in the Netherlands of €30 million or more in the previous calendar year.

To concentrations in the Dutch healthcare sector, different (lower) turnover thresholds apply:

  • the combined turnover of all parties involved in the proposed concentration in the previous calendar year exceeded €55 million and
  • at the same time, at least two parties to the proposed concentration separately achieved a turnover in the Netherlands of €10 million or more in the previous calendar year.

A concentration arises where companies merge; where one or more companies acquire control over (part of) another company (take-over); and where two or more companies set up a full function (i.e. independently operating) joint venture.

The notification process has several phases. In phase I, the ACM has four weeks to decide whether the concentration requires a permit (subject to phase II proceedings) or whether it can be cleared right away. In phase II, the ACM has 13 weeks in order to decide whether or not to clear the concentration and issue a permit.

Companies notifying an intended concentration to ACM are obliged to pay €17,450 for such notification (phase I). If a permit is required and companies submit an application accordingly to ACM, they must pay another €34,900 (for phase II).