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NMa has made commitment from Dutch textile care industry available for perusal

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) plans to accept a commitment put forward by the Dutch Federation for the Textile Care Industry (FTN), which is the trade association for textile care professionals in the Netherlands. The NMa has therefore made the draft decision available to interested parties for perusal. In its proposed commitment, the FTN promises to adjust its behavior in order to eliminate any anti-competitive risks. Practically all Dutch industrial laundries and textile rental service providers are FTN members.

Having conducted an investigation, the NMa found potential antitrust problems, and it informed the FTN about them. The FTN indicated it wanted to resolve these problems. Commitments are a way to remedy potential antitrust problems quickly and effectively, enabling the NMa to complete its investigation efficiently. In commitment decisions, the NMa identifies risks to competition, rather than establishing violations of the Dutch Competition Act.

Investigation by the NMa has revealed that the FTN recommended its members to pass on specific laundry costs to care providers. Given the fact that FTN members represent virtually the entire market, such recommendations can have an appreciable effect on prices, which could directly harm customers, in this case, care providers.

In addition, the FTN has repeatedly commented negatively on a current tender for textile care services put out by 14 care providers. This may have led to all FTN members with the exception of one deciding not to submit any bids, thereby complicating the client’s search for the provider offering the best price-quality ratio.

The FTN will remove the words “coordinating and harmonizing its members’ activities” from its statutory objective. The FTN repeals its recommendations about passing on specific costs for textile care. In addition, the FTN will no longer make any statements directed at its members that may affect their ability to independently decide on their commercial strategies.

The draft decision is available for perusal, and can also be viewed on the NMa’s website ( Interested parties have the opportunity to submit their opinions through December 22, 2011. Opinions can be sent to: 

  • by email: Jan [punt] Poppens [at] acm [punt] nl (Jan[dot]Poppens[at]acm[dot]nl) and Susan [punt] Bos-Theuvenet [at] acm [punt] nl (Susan[dot]Bos-Theuvenet[at]acm[dot]nl)
  • by regular mail:
    Netherlands Competition Authority
    Competition Department
    Attn. Mr. Jan Poppens
    P.O. Box 16326
    2500 BH The Hague, the Netherlands

Opinions can be submitted orally as well, if so desired. In that case, please make an appointment with Mr. Jan Poppens (+31-70-330 5019) or Ms. Susan Bos-Theuvenet (+31-70 - 330 1701).