The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in 2019 imposed 18 fines on undertakings and executives, totaling approximately 17 million euros. In 2018, ACM imposed three fines totaling 620,000 euros. In addition, ACM in 2019 imposed 12 orders subject to periodic penalty payments (compared with one in 2018). Moreover, ACM in 2019 launched 91 investigations (68 in 2018). In 2019, approximately three in four cases of ACM’s decisions that were brought to the highest administrative-law court in the Netherlands (CBb) have been upheld, either in full or at least their most important elements. ACM’s interventions have saved Dutch society approximately 750 million euros in 2019. These are some of the results in the 2019 ACM Annual Report, which was published today.
The digital economy and the energy transition
Some of ACM’s activities last year include investigations into misleading and aggressive selling methods with regard to energy contracts. In addition, ACM also made sure that the increase in the transport tariffs for electricity and natural gas was less than the inflation rate. Furthermore, ACM focused on online businesses that seek to steer consumer behavior using misleading and aggressive selling practices, for example by publishing its ‘Guidelines on the protection of the online consumer’. This focus was prompted by the many indications regarding the energy transition and the digital economy that ACM had received. In 2020, these two topics will continue to be focus areas for ACM.
19-03-2020 2019 ACM Annual Report