The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Dutch company Getronics, an information technology (IT) service provider, by KPN of The Netherlands. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Getronics is an international provider of IT services. The company has a direct presence in 25 countries although it is principally active in The Netherlands. The core business of Getronics can be divided into workspace management services, application integration and management services and consulting and transformation services.
KPN's main activities are the provision of fixed telephony and broadband internet access over its fixed telecommunication infrastructure in The Netherlands. KPN also provides mobile telephony to personal customers over its mobile networks in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. For business customers, KPN provides a range of services, from voice, internet and data services to fully-managed outsourced ICT solutions.
The main overlap in the business areas of both companies occurs in development and integration services and in IT management services. There is also a limited overlap in the supply of networking equipment for telecommunication infrastructure.
The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Getronics and KPN, which are not close competitors, are limited and that, for all products concerned, they would continue to face several strong, effective competitors after the proposed takeover.
Customers would continue to have a wide choice from alternative providers for sourcing their IT services. The Commission's market investigation also showed that the position of KPN as the incumbent telecommunication operator in The Netherlands, does not give rise to concerns with regard to relationships with Getronics on upstream markets for supply of communication capacity. The upstream markets concerned are sufficiently competitive and the telecommunications market is subject to regulation. As a result customers would not be adversely affected by the proposed transaction. [8 October 07]