NMa is suspecting a cartel in the Dutch bell pepper industry
The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) is suspecting a cartel in the Dutch bell pepper industry. Having carried out an investigation, the NMa has drawn up statements of objections against a number of companies in this industry. The companies involved are now given the opportunity to respond.
In late July 2009, the NMa carried out dawn raids at a number of companies that are active in the fruit and vegetable markets. Dawn raids are conducted if it is suspected that the Dutch Competition Act has been violated. As a result of these dawn raids, the NMa has drawn up statements of objections (for the period of 2006-2009) against a number of these companies that are active in the bell pepper industry. In 2008, the total production value of bell peppers in the Netherlands was worth almost EUR 400 million. The companies against which the statements of objections have been drawn up represent a substantial share thereof.
The companies that have received their reports now have the opportunity to respond and give their side of the argument. They have the option of responding both in writing as well as orally. The NMa will then decide whether a violation can indeed be established, and, if so, what sanction will be imposed. Sanctions on companies can be high as ten percent of global turnover.