ACM holds jubilee conference ‘The Digital Economy – Friend or Foe’
Today, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is holding a one-day conference called ‘The Digital Economy – Friend or Foe’, in the Zuiderstrandtheater in The Hague, the Netherlands. With this international conference, ACM is celebrating its five-year anniversary. Over 600 attendees from all over the world will focus on topics relating to the digital economy, which offers many opportunities and options, but also raises questions. Do consumers understand what companies do with their data? Are dominant positions or online platforms harmful to competition? And how should regulators and policymakers deal with the digital economy?
Speakers at the conference include:
- Ms. Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
- Ms. Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition
- Ms. Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com
- Ms. José van Dijck, President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
- Mr. David Laibson, Professor of behavioral economics at Harvard University
In the morning, expert meetings are held on the following topics:
- Blockchain: promises and perils
- Energy consumers in transition
- Imperfect behavior
Bidding farewell to ACM Chairman Chris Fonteijn
At the end of the conference, ACM will bid farewell to its Chairman, Chris Fonteijn. In his opening remarks at the conference, he looked back on ACM’s first five years:
“Five years ago, we said we wanted to make consumers central to our thinking and our work. We combined competition oversight, consumer protection, and sector-specific regulation. That made us the first multidisciplinary market authority in Europe. And today, I’m glad to see consumers reaping the fruits of that decision five years ago. ACM will do everything it can to stay relevant in our rapidly changing economy.”
The digital economy: one of ACM’s key priorities
The digital economy is growing exponentially. And through its oversight, ACM wishes to ensure that consumers continue to be able to purchase products and services online with confidence, that businesses and consumers are able to get broadband access that is of good quality and open, and that businesses are able to innovate. ACM invests a great deal of effort in its oversight, for example, focusing on risks that may arise as a result of colluding algorithms or extreme personalization.
2018-2019 ACM Agenda
Besides the digital economy, ACM in 2018 and 2019 will also devote extra attention to the prices of prescription drugs, sustainability in the energy market, and competition in the Dutch ports. By visiting the dedicated website denkmee.acm.nl, everyone was able to join the online discussions on all of these Agenda topics. The responses that ACM has received in these discussions serve as valuable input for ACM’s strategy.
ACM creates opportunities and options for businesses and consumers. Having a healthy economy is a cornerstone of our welfare and well-being. ACM helps create that healthy economy by ensuring that markets function well. In well-functioning markets, consumers are able to buy their products and services with confidence. Consumers and businesses must have sufficient choice, and must be able to make well-informed choices. ACM oversees businesses to ensure they compete fairly, and it prevents abuses of market power, particularly in regulated sectors. ACM protects consumers against misleading practices, and educates consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations.