The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has resumed conducting unannounced dawn raids and interrogations as part of investigations into possible violations committed by companies. In addition, ACM has resumed organizing public hearings.
Over these past three months, these ACM activities had been temporarily suspended due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in order to limit the risk of spreading the virus. All other oversight activities continued to take place as usual. The coronavirus outbreak has hardly led to any delays in ACM’s current proceedings.
Measures implemented for interrogations and dawn raids
ACM has implemented several measures in order to be able to resume conducting interrogations and dawn raids at companies in a safe manner, and, if necessary, searches at private homes. ACM has also implemented several measures at its offices in The Hague, so that public hearings can be held in a safe manner with limited staffing. For example, floor signs in the building indicate safe routes, and the conference rooms have been rearranged so that visitors and ACM staff are able to adhere to social-distancing rules (1.5 meter distance). If necessary, ACM is able to move to third-party conference rooms (outside of its offices in The Hague). It goes without saying that ACM complies with the guidelines of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). ACM has drawn up a visitor protocol. The protocol can be found below.
12-06-2020 ACM’s visitor protocol in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (in Dutch)