The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is conducting an investigation into a possible buyer cartel involving certain reusable waste products. As part of this investigation, ACM conducted dawn raids at the premises of various buyers of these waste products. ACM suspects that the buyers secretly made illegal arrangements involving the purchasing price. ACM additionally suspects that the buyers divided suppliers among themselves. As a consequence, the suppliers’ ability to sell has been restricted. Buyer cartels are anticompetitive, and harm suppliers.
Price-fixing agreements harm suppliers
Competitors are not allowed to conclude secret agreements among each other about the prices that they pay their suppliers. That is bad for competition between businesses. Suppliers will not get the opportunity to sell their products at a competitive price, and will subsequently receive a lower price for their products.
What are the next steps in the investigation?
Over the next few months, ACM will assess whether or not the competition rules have indeed been violated. ACM may reach the conclusion that the rules have not been violated. If that is the case, the investigation will be suspended. If ACM does establish a violation, it may lead to a sanction such as a fine.
Submit your tip-offs or indications about illegal agreements
Do you believe that businesses, traders, buyers, or sellers have concluded illegal agreements? If so, please contact and tell ACM.
- Campaign: stop cartels, avoid a fine (in Dutch)