NMa consults business on proposed new leniency guidelines
The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) invites members of the business community to respond to its revised Draft Leniency Guidelines. These set out the conditions under which companies and natural persons, having participated in a cartel, may apply for reduction of a fine or complete immunity from fining. The new Leniency Guidelines constitute another important step in realising effective cartel detection and prosecution by the NMa.
The NMa has gathered considerable experience with the leniency guidelines that are currently in place, as issued in 2002. Also, the Senate of the Dutch Parliament recently approved of an amendment to the Dutch Competition Act. In addition to its powers to fine businesses, these statutory changes enable the NMa also to impose fines, up to a maximum amount of EUR 450,000, on natural persons who have given instructions or have exercised de facto leadership with regard to practices contrary to the cartel prohibition. This may include staff at various levels of the business. Just like businesses, natural persons are entitled to apply for leniency.
How to submit your response to the Leniency Guidelines
The consultation document has been submitted to members of the legal profession and the business community, inviting response and suggestions. Also, the integral text is available on the NMa website: www.acm.nl (English version forthcoming). The closing date for consultation is 7 September 2007. Please submit your response in writing or by email before this date. The NMa looks forward to receiving your views and is planning on issuing a final document on 1 October 2007. As from that date, the Leniency Guidelines will apply to all new cases that come before the NMa.
Leniency applicants should contact the Leniency Office at the NMa. The Leniency Office may be contacted by telephone on +31 (0)71 330 1710, by fax on +31 (0)70 330 1700 and by email at clementie [at] acm [punt] nl (clementie[at]acm[dot]nl).