Competition & regulated markets

Free market conditions are key to both Dutch and European economic policies. Numerous laws and regulations have been put in place in an effort to ensure fair competition and protect the interests of broader society. Supervisory authorities such as the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) monitor compliance with these regulations and have considerable powers. Stringent, far-reaching measures may be imposed in the event of violations. These include hefty fines. Individuals who are found responsible for overseeing the violations or should have stopped them from occurring in the first place may also be heavily sanctioned.

Our competition law specialists can readily answer any questions you may have in this area, such as: am I allowed to make these agreements with a competitor or dealer? Should I report this acquisition, merger or joint venture to the ACM, what sort of questions will the NVWA ask and how should I make the required information available? They can also provide guidance for entrepreneurs in connection with unannounced inspections by and disputes with supervisory authorities.

Marco Balhuizen, competition law specialist & partner: ‘We clear a path through the jungle of laws and regulations, freeing you up to focus on your business operations.’

Competition law
Competition law helps to create the necessary preconditions for fair competition. Entrepreneurs must take this legislation into account when making crucial strategic and commercial decisions. In addition to protecting you against unfair competition, the government can also impose sanctions on your business.

Regulated markets
The government has appointed regulatory authorities to monitor industries that are deeply intertwined with the public interest, to ensure that their market behaviour can be effectively regulated. Key regulatory authorities in the Netherlands include the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) and the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). The latter provides both consumers and businesses with the clarity and transparency they need to make well-founded decisions.

Compliance & training
Compliance basically means: abiding by the rules. An effective compliance programme will help you and your colleagues to operate within the common regulatory framework. You can train your employees to apply the programme and use it to hold them accountable where necessary. The development of compliance programmes requires a tailor-made approach. Every company has its own inherent 'hazards', organisational culture and products, and thus requires its own unique internal company regulations. Read more about typical competition law subjects and issues.