ACM takes a broader perspective when dealing with market and consumer problems. ACM subsequently selects the instrument or a combination of instruments that offers the highest probability of producing a structural solution to the problem. Sometimes the best instrument is a fine, but often it can be a commitment, a warning, a vision document or educating businesses and consumers. Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: “The imposition of fines is not a goal unto itself for ACM. We want to make markets work, and to solve consumer problems in order to prevent further harm. To that end, we choose the approach that solves the problem the soonest and permanently, and that prevents new problems.”
With the Streamlining Act that came into force on August 1, 2014, the procedures and powers of ACM have been streamlined. The consolidation process of the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa), the Netherlands Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) and the Netherlands Consumer Authority has thus been completed. ACM sees more and more examples of the synergies that the consolidation has generated. For example, consumer protection regulations helped in forcing the energy sector to increase transparency.