The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers & Markets (Autoriteit Consument & Markt, ACM) has announced its approval for national network operator KPN to establish a fibre rollout joint venture with pension fund manager APG (part of ABP) despite noting that ‘several competitors have expressed concerns about competition issues in the deployment and access to fibre during the assessment of the joint venture notification.’
ACM noted in its decision: ‘KPN and APG do not overlap in activities. The creation of the joint venture will not reduce competition in the construction and management of fibre-optic networks in the Netherlands. The joint venture will install fibre-optic networks to households and companies in areas where KPN does not yet have a fibre-optic network. KPN will be the main user of these networks, but other telecom providers will also have access. ACM welcomes that the future network of the new joint venture is open to providers of digital services. ACM assumes that this will be done on the basis of fully equivalent and competitive conditions. That way, consumers and companies have as much choice as possible.’
In March this year KPN and the ABP group announced a USD1 billion-plus plan to cover an additional 700,000 households and 200,000 business premises in smaller settlements and industrial estates with fibre broadband by end-2026, involving the establishment of a new company 50/50 owned by KPN and APG.