Competition Law and Market Forces
Competition law and market forces
Unfair competition and cartel agreements are prohibited by law. Businesses are not allowed to abuse their dominant position of economic power either and the same holds good for governmental bodies. GMW Advocaten advises clients on all aspects of Dutch and European competition law.
Competition law safeguards fair competition and promotes transparent market mechanisms. Dutch and European competition rules and regulations penalise certain practices such as cartel and market sharing agreements or abusing an existing dominant position of economic power leading to a situation in which consumers and customers are exploited and new competitors are excluded.
High finesCompetitors believing that they have been disadvantaged by such practices can invoke the Dutch competition law and the European competition provisions. Unfair competition will have to then stop immediately, offenders having to pay high fines, amounting sometimes to ten percent of their annual turnover. Compensation can be sometimes granted to disadvantaged competitors, customers and consumers. The Netherlands Competition Authority (Nma/Nederlandse Mededingsautoriteit) supervises businesses for compliance with national competition law. The European Commission deals with offences that have an impact on two or more member states, applying equally high fines – up to ten percent of the annual turnover.
Dos and Don’tsOften entrepreneurs and managers are not familiar with the details of all competition rules and regulations. And sometimes a company’s articles of association and regulations will have ‘hidden’ provisions. GMW Advocaten will help detect these and work out an acceptable compliance program. It is also wise to consult an expert when mergers are intended, as the NMa will inevitably check whether such a merger would lead to an economically dominant position. A well founded and meticulously drafted presentation will greatly increase the chances that the NMa will give its blessing to the merger.
InformationGMW Advocaten informs clients on the dos and don’ts of competition law, also advising on mergers, takeovers and other forms of collaboration. They will also help set forward a defence against sanctions of the NMa or the European Commission.
Please contact Arthur de Groot for more information on the subject.