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Simplified resolution can avoid protracted legal proceedings

21-12-2018

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has drawn up ‘Guidelines for simplified resolution of cases involving a fine’. If a company or an individual in a case involving a fine is prepared to acknowledge the violation, and to accept a fine for that violation, ACM can simplify the procedure for that case. This allows protracted legal proceedings to be avoided, and cases to be completed sooner and more cost-effectively. This will benefit both ACM and the parties involved in the case. The Guidelines explain the main elements of ACM’s procedure.

Conditional reduction of 10% on fines

If a party acknowledges their participation in the violation and accepts the fine, ACM may issue a streamlined decision. In that case, ACM offers the party a reduction of 10% on the fine.

Effect of actions is central

Simplified resolution fits in with ACM’s oversight philosophy, as it expedites legal proceedings. When it comes to its oversight style, ACM puts the effect of its actions central. ACM does not merely seek to penalize violations, it also wants to deal with the underlying causes, and prevent repeat violations. To that end, ACM is able to choose from a wide range of instruments: from fines to public awareness campaigns. In many cases, combinations of these instruments are used, thus creating synergies. ACM’s ultimate goal is to find permanent solutions to market and consumer problems.

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21-12-2018 ACM’s guidelines for simplified resolution of cases involving a fine