KPN Cleared to Achieve Youfone’s Dutch Operations through ACM Regulator

KPN Cleared to Acquire Youfone's Dutch Operations by ACM Regulator
The Dutch telecommunications company KPN has received approval to take over MVNO Youfone’s Dutch activities from the competition regulator. Following an extensive investigation, the regulator on March 21, 2024, said the deal would not reduce competition. KPN first announced it had agreed to acquire Youfone in June 2023 for around EUR 200 Million, as reported by TelecomTalk. However, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said it would need to further investigate the proposed merger.

Also Read: Dutch Telco KPN Announces Youfone Acquisition

Approval and Investigation

The regulator in September 2023 said, “The acquisition of Youfone by KPN could result in a loss of significant competitive pressure in the budget or no-frills segment of the market for mobile telecommunication services. That could lead to higher prices or a reduced selection for consumers.”

“Youfone does not have a network of its own and uses KPN’s mobile network. Youfone could also use the networks of Odido or VodafoneZiggo. That may boost Youfone’s bargaining position in negotiations with KPN about the use of its network, and it enhances Youfone’s ability to compete on low prices,” ACM added.

Market Impact Assessment

“The investigation has shown that, even post-acquisition, consumers will still have sufficient options. Next to Youfone, numerous other providers are active, offering competitively priced mobile plans,” the regulator said.

“Moreover, an economic study has revealed that consumer prices are not expected to change significantly. Based on this economic analysis, the acquisition’s price effect is estimated to be between -0.4 and 0.7 percent. The acquisition of Youfone is therefore not expected to produce any negative effects.”

Also Read: Youfone Launches Wired Internet Services in Belgium

Future Prospects

Youfone has over 540,000 subscribers across the Netherlands, and with this acquisition, KPN reportedly strengthens its position in the mobile and broadband market. KPN said, “Youfone continues to operate independently within KPN to ensure that current and future Youfone customers are served in the way they are familiar with.” The merger is expected to be completed soon.

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