At the request of the Minister of Finance, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) is launching a market study into the plans of large tech companies on the Dutch payment market. The regulator will investigate what effect these plans have on consumers and businesses, the ACM reports Tuesday.

The plans of companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are being investigated. The study also looks at companies that may be planning to become active on the Dutch or European payment market, such as the Chinese groups Alibaba and Tencent.

Among other things, ACM is investigating whether small companies can cope with the plans of the major tech players. "What new opportunities are there to pay? Do small businesses get enough opportunities to enter this market too?" The regulator wonders.

The ACM opts for a market study because the introduction of the European rules for access to payment data (PSD2) on the payment market makes it possible to compete and innovate more. Previously, the large banks in particular were active in this market, so competition was limited.

"Benefits for people and companies, but also risks"

"The entry of large tech companies could help to improve competition and innovation in the payment market. And that brings benefits for people and businesses," ACM writes.

The regulator also monitors the risks associated with the entry of major tech companies. For example, there is a risk that companies will use their strong position in one market to conquer another.

For the investigation, the regulator will interview experts and, at the beginning of 2020, survey major tech companies, financial technology companies and banks. The results must be known by mid-2020.