Photo booths in Amsterdam do not constitute unfair competition
The photo booths that are located in each of the seven district offices of the city of Amsterdam are in accordance with the law. This has been revealed by a ruling of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), which, at the request of five professional photographers, had assessed whether the municipality of Amsterdam complied with the Dutch law on competitive neutrality, the Dutch Act on Government and Free Markets.
All costs must be included
The professional photographers argued that the presence of photo booths inside city hall and the district offices constituted unfair competition. They argued that the municipality, which leases out the space for these booths, failed to include all costs in the lease price that the owner of these booths had to pay. The owner was therefore supposedly able to offer photos (for example for passports or ID cards) at too cheap a rate. Based on ACM’s assessment, it turns out that the municipality has indeed included all costs.
The Dutch Act on Government and Free Markets
ACM enforces compliance with the Dutch law on competitive neutrality, the Dutch Act on Government and Free Markets, which is part of the Dutch Competition Act. According to said law, the government is allowed to engage in ‘economic activities,’ but it cannot compete unfairly when doing so.