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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 3 August 2012

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Dutch public sector consultancy firm BMC by Dutch banks ABN AMRO and ING.

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Dutch public sector consultancy and management firm BMC Investments B.V. by banks ABN AMRO and ING, also of The Netherlands. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.

The Commission's investigation showed that there are no overlaps between the parties' activities in the European Economic Area (EEA), since neither ABN AMRO nor ING are active in the same field as BMC.

The Commission also analysed potential spill-over effects since ABN AMRO and ING are both active in the markets for banking, financial services and insurance. The Commission concluded that any coordination between ABN AMRO and ING which would restrict competition in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU was highly unlikely, because BMC only represents a small part of the parents' portfolio, and is unrelated to the core activities of ABN AMRO and ING.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 9 July 2012.

Companies and products

BMC is a consultancy and management firm specialising in consultancy services for the Dutch public sector.

ABN AMRO and ING are large financial institutions, active in the Netherlands and internationally.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_6600

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)


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