In 2016, seven ready-mix concrete firms made commitments to eliminate serious risks for unfair competition. Every two years, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) checks whether these companies comply with their commitments. The most recent check was conducted in late-2019. It revealed that, in general, the companies indeed comply with their commitments. ACM has given them several suggestions for improvement with regard to a couple of points. These points primarily concern how mutual interactions and arrangements are recorded in connection with taking over jobs from each other.
What was the problem?
In 2016, ACM established that the structure of the sector combined with the close ties between the firms and/or their employees could be harmful to competition. Seven companies subsequently made far-reaching commitments to ACM promising structural changes to their organizations. For example, business units have been sold so that fewer plants are operated jointly now. In addition, interactions between employees from different companies are now registered, and are screened for distortion of competition. With the commitments, serious risks for unfair competition have been eliminated.
Companies comply with commitments, room for improvement with regard to registration
ACM has established that the anticompetitive risks have been reduced. However, there is room for improvement in the registration of interactions, and in the registration of incidental and necessary collaborations. The points for improvement vary for each company. ACM will conduct the next check in 2022. The commitments expire in 2026.
The seven ready-mix concrete companies are:
Mebin, Cementbouw, Dyckerhoff Basal Nederland, Bruil Beton & Mix Groep, Mortelcentrale Cuijk, Rouwmaat Groep and Agar Holding B.V.