For the next two years, the ‘digital economy’ and ‘energy markets in transition’ are central in the oversight activities of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). When the 2020-2021 ACM Agenda was announced, we invited everyone to share with us their thoughts and ideas about these focus areas. The responses that we received included indications that help us carry out our enforcement activities more concretely. The result is a list of cases that ACM will be working on in 2020.
“The major topics of public debate in the Netherlands right now are the digital economy and the energy transition. That is also reflected in the indications that we receive. ACM wants to ensure that markets function well for people and businesses. In 2020, we will do so by paying special attention to access to digital platforms, by taking action against online misleading practices, and by investigating sustainability claims regarding products and services, among other activities”, says ACM’s Chairman of the Board Martijn Snoep.
Implementation of the ACM Agenda in 2020
The digital economy
In 2020, ACM will focus on online misleading practices and access to digital platforms. The responses that ACM has received about its 2020-2021 Agenda show that people are concerned about the lack of transparency in the digital world, and about the rapid growth of large tech companies. ACM will provide more information about the rules in order to enhance compliance, and where necessary, will take enforcement action.
The energy transition
The Netherlands faces the daunting task of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. That is why the Netherlands focuses on transitioning to sustainable energy. During this energy transition, people and businesses should be able to rely on well-functioning energy markets. In 2020, ACM will investigate aggressive customer-recruitment by energy suppliers, as well as sustainability claims regarding products and services, among other topics. ACM will also assess the investment proposals of system operators, and will determine whether they will make sufficient necessary investments, partly in light of the energy transition.
What else will ACM do in 2020?
In addition to the topics on the ACM Agenda, ACM will do much more in order to ensure markets work well for people and businesses. In addition to its regular oversight and enforcement duties, ACM focuses on excessive prices of prescription drugs, and on the effects of mergers on competition with regard to the terms of employment of employees and self-employed workers, among other topics. Furthermore, ACM continuously draws the attention of businesses to moving compliance with the rules, particularly those on consumer protection, higher on their internal agendas.