Fortis/ABN AMRO: When do bank mergers raise competition concerns?* On 3 October 2007, the Commission cleared the acquisition of certain assets of the Dutch banking group ABN AMRO by the Belgo-Dutch financial services group Fortis subject to divestiture commitments. The acquired assets included most of ABN AMRO‘s activities in the Netherlands (except certain large corporate customers) as well as its worldwide private banking and asset management business. This take-over formed part of the break-up bid for ABN AMRO by Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander of Spain, and Fortis. Even before the merger, the Netherlands was one of the most concentrated banking markets in Europe. The merger raised significant competitive issues because it combined two of the five largest banks in the Dutch

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