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ACM sets basic principles for oversight of sustainability arrangements

More and more businesses make arrangements with each other concerning sustainable products or services. Many of these sustainability arrangements can be easily initiated or continued. In most cases, these arrangements comply with the Dutch Competition Act, but not in all cases. In order to help businesses draw up sustainability arrangements, ACM has established basic principles for the oversight of sustainability arrangements, next to its 2014 vision document.

ACM’s oversight of sustainability arrangements is based on three basic principles:

  1. ACM will not take action against sustainability arrangements that enjoy broad social support if all parties involved such as the government, citizen representatives, and businesses are positive about the arrangements;
  2. ACM is able to initiate an investigation upon receiving complaints or indications regarding sustainability arrangements;
  3. ACM helps find quick and effective solutions, should problems arise.

Why has ACM set basic principles for oversight of sustainability arrangements?

ACM has posted a ‘decision tree’ on its website for businesses to check whether their arrangements may have any anticompetitive risks. If certain arrangements indeed pose risks to competition, then the benefits of the arrangement in question must outweigh the anticompetitive drawbacks. The basic principles for oversight of sustainability arrangements explain what ACM will assess when enforcing the sustainable arrangements’ compliance with the Dutch Competition Act.