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NMa: compliance with Competition Act on publishers' agenda

The Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG), PCM Uitgevers and the Nationale Regiopers Dagbladen (NRp) will each draw up a compliance programme. The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) welcomes the initiative, as it will reduce the risk of law infringement. The Agency emphasises that a compliance programme should not be taken as a substitute for regular law enforcement action by the NMa.

In short, a compliance programme is a package of measures and procedures aimed at anchoring compliance with the Competition Act in operational management. One of the measures introduced involves the appointment of a 'compliance officer' by each of the publishing companies concerned. This functionary is to act independently of sales departments and will take up a pro-active role in preventing, investigating and terminating potential anti-competitive practices.

PCM, TMG and NRp constitute the three most important players in the field of selling newspaper advertisement space sales to national advertisers in the Netherlands. In the Dutch newspaper market, these publishing companies represent a combined market share of more than 70 per cent. Last year, media reports indicated that the NMa was investigating the advertising market. This investigation has thus far yielded insufficient evidence for justifying the continuation of the investigation.

Media and communication markets are an NMa priority for 2007. The NMa will continue to monitor this sector closely.