In mid-June this year, the two companies announced that they want to grow together into a major European player. It was also reported at the time that the plan was still subject to approval from competition authorities.
In the Netherlands, that approval will not come easily, it appears today. “The acquisition may give Roompot and Landal a too strong position in the market for holiday parks in the Netherlands,” the ACM said in a press release.
How tough is the competition?
The reason for ACM’s doubts is that Roompot is the largest chain in the Netherlands and Landal the second largest. Center Parcs and EuroParcs are also major players in the Dutch holiday home market.
The regulator therefore wants to check how strong the competition is between the two companies and how fierce the competition is with other providers.
Consequences for consumers…
The merger of the two largest chains could have major consequences for consumers who want to rent a house. The regulator wants to find out whether the new company will become so powerful that it can raise prices significantly because there are hardly any alternatives for consumers.
There will also be research into the consequences for the owners of other holiday parks and private individuals who have a house there. Roompot and Landal play a major role in the rental of these houses.
… and owners
The two companies not only arrange the rental, but also take care of the marketing and management. One of the matters that the ACM wants to investigate is whether the service costs charged by the parks for these services will not rise very sharply if the two companies merge.
It remains to be seen whether the investigation will be completed. It is now the turn of Landal and Roompot. The two companies must inform ACM whether they still want the acquisition to go ahead.
“We are confident that the regulator will confirm this acquisition,” said spokesperson Baptiste van Outryve on behalf of Roompot. The investigation is not a reason to abandon the acquisition, he reports.
The companies had already assumed that an investigation would be carried out, and according to Van Outryve this will not cause any delay. “We had foreseen this period and will use it to shape our future plans even better,” he adds.
Landal did not immediately respond substantively to a request for comment.