Ploumen and Klaver pass their members and voters

Much has been written about the more tactical than strategic ‘extensive cooperation’ between the political parties GroenLinks and the PvdA. I have nothing against mergers and acquisitions and see that in the business world there is a constant flow of buying and selling, merger and dissolution. In many cases this is right and good. More interestingly, two parties that are always keen on the Anglo-Saxon violence in the banking and business world are now acting exactly along the lines of thought in mergers and acquisitions.

Two CEOs, Ploumen of the PvdA and Klaver of GroenLinks, see that they can strengthen their market share and strengthen their position by merging. At the top level, this is discussed, denied and finally, ‘after market’, announced. The arguments that are used could have come from the CEO of a bank. Ploumen/ Klaver say, paraphrasing: ‘To be stronger against the competition (VVD, D66, CDA) we must take this step and a merger is inevitable. This allows us to profile ourselves better, sell our product better and we can combine knowledge and people to negotiate more efficiently and with more force on the (formation) market.’

Cartel formation

If market parties, especially if they provide a product or service that everyone needs, would consider this merger, MPs from the left-wing parties would ask the Minister of Economic Affairs whether all shareholders and customers, the people, are known in this. And if this makes them any better. The reaction of both ‘ceo’s’ was that the shareholders (members) will soon be ‘updated’ and that it is obviously better for the customers (voters). Or is this oligopoly formation at its best? This is reinforced by the story that D66 leader Kaag en Klaver and Ploumen recently sat together? Cartel formation?

Meanwhile, Kaag, also always critical of ‘American conditions’, joins the chorus of the investment bankers and indicates that the Christian Union not allowed to participate within their business arrangements. They are dismissed as market disruptors. As with many mergers, the members (shareholders) are now stirring and calling for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting; referred to as a ‘members’ consultation’ by the Board of Directors. The customers (voters) are not asked at all about this major policy change so shortly after the elections.

Top-down deal

The employees also make themselves heard. Because it now appears that many party members were not known or only very late in this merger of factions. That is not smart. Every CEO knows that it is always important to confide in at least a delegation of the works council. That’s called not surprising and taking each other along. Precisely because the works council has rights in the field of information, advice and consent. Sloppy from both CEOs! The unions will grumble.

It confirms what Klaver and Ploumen keep saying: ‘We (two) want this.’ They can’t describe the top-down deal more sharply. In the meantime, there is already talk about the division of functions between the top executives, even before the merger is complete. Of course, other companies such as the VVD and the CDA are not concerned with the intended intensive cooperation between the PvdA and GroenLinks, but they will have to respond to the steps taken by the competition.

On the one hand, the liberal VVD will appreciate the Anglo-Saxon action, but will also be wary of this market concentration. The CDA, an adherent of Rhenish thinking, is critical because it is in favor of involving all stakeholders in such major steps. It shouldn’t just be the CEO’s party. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) may still have to assess the proposed merger.

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