The appeals board in Netherlands has rejected the appeal against the merger between Nederlandse Staatsloterij (SENS) and Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator (SNS) on fear that it would reduce competitiveness of the Dutch gaming market.
Initially, when the merger was first put forward, the nation's Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM), noted that a license would be needed for that to happen. An application for license was made and was subsequently approved back in 2015.
Looking at the degree of mutual competition, the ACM found that the Nationale Goede Doelen Loterij already stood as a competitor, and was of comparable size to both Nederlandse Staatsloterij (SENS) and Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator (SNS).
Nationale Goede Doelen Loterij, operates the National Postcode Lottery, Bankgiro Lottery and Friends Lottery.
For the merger to be approved, the board had to consider whether the merger of both companies would put other competitors at a business disadvantage, besides that, current market assessment and the possible advantage that would bring to the market had to be considered.
The tribunal concluded that it would be highly unlikely that the combination would lead to significant negative effects on competition in the lottery market.
It also found that changes in competition verticals like jackpot, ticket price, and payout percentage of one merger partner had little influence on the number of tickets sold by the other merger partner.
ACM also was of the notion that the merger would give private operators ability to compete for customers. According to iGaming Business, ACM stated:
There was no evidence that the merged lottery business would be able to leverage that position to gain an unfair advantage in other verticals.
The Netherlands Online Gaming Association (NOGA) termed this decision as “unfortunate” in a statement released earlier.
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