Educational institutions NCOI and LOI merge. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) nevertheless approved the acquisition after initial reservations. ACM will announce this on Friday.

NCOI Groep and LOI are both private educational institutions. NCOI announced in November last year that it wanted to acquire LOI.

Both LOI and NCOI mainly offer part-time courses at MBO and HBO level and courses. In February of this year, the regulator said it would not approve the acquisition yet; more research was needed to determine if the merger would not restrict competition too much.

That investigation related to the different submarkets in which the two are active. "For example, full-time or part-time education, recognized education or non-recognized education, classroom or distance, training with or without student finance or obligations from the government, or various disciplines", according to ACM.

The regulator has now come to the conclusion that sufficient competition remains, because there are enough other players in all areas in which the two are active. Students, business customers and competitors such as secondary vocational education and higher professional education institutions were asked for their opinion for the study.

The purchase price has not been disclosed.