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ACM is now able to impose higher fines

From July 1, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will be able to impose higher fines. The higher maximum fines apply to violations of all acts and regulations that ACM enforces. This has been the result of the Act on raising the maximum fines of ACM (in Dutch: Wet verhoging boetemaxima ACM), which was adopted by the Dutch Senate in December 2015. This has led to an amendment of the 2014 ACM Fining Policy.

In order to solve market problems, and to create opportunities and options for consumers, we select from a wide range of enforcement instruments. In each individual case, we assess which instrument will be the most effective. Sometimes that can be a fine. And it certainly helps even more if this particular instrument has a truly deterrent effect.

The maximum fine that ACM is able to impose per violation has been raised from EUR 450,000 to EUR 900,000 or, whichever is higher, either 1 percent or 10 percent of the annual turnover (depending on the seriousness of the violation). The maximum fine for cartels now depends on the duration of the cartel. For cartels spanning multiple years, the maximum fine can be as high as 40 percent of the annual turnover. And in the case of repeat violations, the fines for all types of violations can even be doubled.