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NMa plans to consult society about its priorities

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) is preparing a general consultation with regard to its priorities. The NMa has announced this in its 2001 Annual Report. The Annual Report also covers the Office for Energy Regulation (DTe), which is part of the NMa, and the Office of Transport Regulation, which is currently being created. For the immediate future, the NMa will continue to be active in the energy sector, financial sector, fuel sector, transport sector, health care sector, and the construction industry.

The NMa wishes to consult its stakeholders with regard to the activities that are deemed desirable. This does not mean that all wishes will be honored. The NMa carries out its statutory duties independently. In this regard, the NMa points out that cartel investigations are often complicated and require a lot of patience. The NMa wishes to provide as much clarity as possible about what is and what is not possible, and to account publicly for the choices it makes and the activities it carries out. In its external communication, the NMa wishes to show as much as possible how consumers benefit from its activities.

In 2001, the NMa almost completed the processing of the vast majority of applications for exemption dating from 1998. As a result of this progress, most of the capacity that was freed up in 2001 was used for tracking down secret cartels and for fighting abuses of dominant positions. The NMa was thus able to further develop its proactive approach to competition oversight in 2001.

In the NMa's opinion, the investigation into prices on the Dutch fuel market has marked the start of a new phase in the NMa's history. In 2001, the NMa started 11 investigations. It has established that, in 2001, fewer mergers and acquisitions were notified of than in the previous year (135 in 2001 as opposed to 197 in 2000).

In 2001, DTe also proactively promoted the functioning of the energy markets, and will step up its efforts in the future. DTe wishes to monitor price trends in the energy sectors even more actively, both nationally and internationally. In addition, DTe is preparing itself for a new regulatory period in which the focus will be on both efficiency and the quality of electricity grids. DTe will also concentrate more on the energy-market regulation.